Myanmar’s exports over the past four months of the current 2020-2021 financial year touched a low to US$5.53 billion, reflecting a drastic drop of over $886 million compared with a year-ago period of the previous FY, according to the data from the Ministry of Commerce.
During the corresponding period in the previous FY, exports stood at $6.417 billion, according to the data released by the ministry.
The pandemic deals a severe blow to the manufacturing, mineral and other service sectors as it shut down the events. Additionally, people demand only staple food. The current political instability will worsen the external trade, pointed out the exporters.
The drop in exports of natural gas, gems and jewellery, and CMP garments contributes to the slump in exports, the ministry stated.
Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened border security and limited the trading time to contain the spread of the virus. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates to almost triple in Myanmar, causing delays for exporters.
Of the seven export groups, agricultural exports showed an increase of $814.46 million against a year-ago period. At the same time, exports of other goods were also seen a small rise. Meanwhile, exports of livestock, forest products, minerals, fishery products and finished industrial goods declined.
Between 1 October and 5 February of the current FY, export values have registered at $2.09 billion for agro products, $15.85 million for livestock, $331 million for fishery products, $407 million for minerals, $54 million for forest products, $2.45 billion for manufactured goods, and $176.57 million for other goods.
The country’s export sector relies more on the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. At present, CMP garment exports drastically dropping since the western countries cancelled order following the COVID-19 impacts. The country’s export sector is likely to extend its drop due to the current political climate, an exporter shared his opinion.
The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on export promotion and market diversification. Since 2011, the Ministry of Commerce has adhered to its reform policy. A series of moves to liberalize and open the economy have been introduced through policy development to improve the trade environment. — KH/GNLM