Myanmar exports 1.8 mln tonnes of rice as of 8 May

Export rice is seen loading onto a vessel at Yangon Port.  Photo: Phoe Khwar
Export rice is seen loading onto a vessel at Yangon Port.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

The volume of rice and broken rice exported between 1 October and 8 May in the current financial year was estimated at over 1.8 million metric tons, worth US$527.86 million, according to an announcement from the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
Myanmar’s maritime trade constituted 85.3 per cent of rice exports and generated an estimated income of $456.27 million as of 15 November in the current financial year, as per data from the Commerce Ministry.
Earlier, border trade was relatively high compared to sea trade in terms of rice exports. Since the previous financial year, border trade has dropped, and currently, it accounts for just 14.4 per cent of the total rice exports. Rice exports through the border gates have generated an estimated $71.59 million in the current financial year.
In the current financial year, Myanmar has shipped rice to 62 foreign markets. China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice. The country’s broken rice has been sent to 53 foreign countries, mostly to Senegal.
Myanmar primarily exports rice to China through the borders. However, the trade in the agricultural products has been halted on account of China clamping down on illegal trade.
Ministry of Commerce and Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) have planned to export 100,000 tonnes of rice through sea trade and 50,000 tonnes through border trade in May.
The Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Inspection and Testing Service (MITS), the authorized organization of the State and MRF implemented rice reserve scheme on 30 April. The state has purchased about 13,000 tonnes of rice so far, in line with the set rules and regulations, said Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo of the Ministry of Commerce.
The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume (25 % broken, well-milled and sorted rice), stated in the export declaration as country’s reserved rice.
The reserved rice must be sent to the state’s warehouse. MITS, the authorized organization of the State, will inspect and verify the quality and quantity.
The Yangon Region government is receiving the reserved rice proportioned by sea trade, while some portion of the border export is being stored at the Consumer Affairs Department in Mandalay Region. The country has the rice reserve scheme for emergency case beyond self-sufficiency in the domestic market. Myanmar’s rice export has returned to normal in May and it intends to ship over 2 million tonnes of rice in the current financial year, according to the MRF.
It is the harvest time of summer paddy and the federation is making efforts for the growers to get a decent price. Additionally, MRF, its subsidiary organizations and the rice traders are coordinating to have a much fairer price of rice for the consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Local market constitutes over 70 per cent of production, whereas some portion of the remaining is sent to the foreign market and some of them are left for rice reserve.
Myanmar has shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the 2017-2018 financial year, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.29 million metric tons, worth $691 million, in the 2018-2019FY. —GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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