Myanmar exports over 1,000 tonnes of fishery products to Bangladesh monthly

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Fishery products are pictured prepared for exporting to Bangladesh via one border crossing.  Photo: KANU

The State is prioritizing agriculture and livestock sectors with an aim to increase foreign currency earnings and enhance the socio-economy of the farmers. Myanmar’s monthly export of fishery products to Bangladesh via border posts in Rakhine State is estimated at 800 to over 1,000 tonnes.
In April, Bangladesh’s demand for fishery products dropped during Ramadan. Starting from the first week of May, bilateral trade is bustling with the steady supply by the rohu farmers from Yangon, Ayeyawady and Bago regions by ship or vehicle.
Although the high and volatile fuel oil prices force the transport sector to raise the fares, the price of fishery products does not escalate. The traders are facing difficulties to raise the price of marketable fish amid the high feed price. Nevertheless, they are endeavouring to keep the export of fishery products steady while there is a strong demand.
Approximately 1,000 tonnes of rohu from Yangon city are delivered to Sittway and Maungtaw border posts in Rakhine State with Bangladesh. Rohu from the other two cities is also sent to the border via sea route and road transport.
“Those fish farmers working on a manageable scale convey the fish to Sittway and Maungtaw border areas by means of road transport and then load the fish and other commodities on motor vessels for export. Fish farmers from Yangon deliver fish by vessels and send them directly to Bangladesh’s seaport of entry after passing tests at the Sittway checkpoint. They have to wait for five days in the sea to run a health test to enter Yangon. Despite the hike in oil prices, the contract keeps the breeders going regularly. We see a regular trade flow. Bangladesh’s border plays a crucial for the fish farmers. It is a win-win situation for both the fish farmers and the consumers if the marketable fish are harvested and exported. This month, about 800 to over 1,000 tonnes of fishery products are flowing into the border market,” said U Thet Oo, director of the Rakhine State Fisheries Department.
A combined team conducts checks on fishery products and other commodities at two border posts with Bangladesh; the Shwemingan point in Sittway city and Kanyinchaung point in Maungtaw town.
Myanmar levied a two per cent tax on exported goods to Bangladesh. Additionally, the registration of a vessel is charged US$50 and the weighted average price for the fishery is set at five US dollars per tonne under the Marine Fisheries Law.
The fish farmers and traders from Bangladesh were battered by a temporary closure of the border posts triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate the trade flow, the Rakhine State government requested the National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of the COVID-19. The committee gave the green light and the border trade resumed after a four-month closure. This move allowed the fish breeders from three big cities to do a roaring business.
Rohu and other dried commodities such as onion, tamarind, ginger, and dried plum are shipped to Bangladesh through Rakhine State, while wide striped longyi for men (Palaykat Sarong), plastic gallon containers, footwear and construction materials are imported to Myanmar. Exports surpass imports in cross-border trade between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Myanmar exported over 11,000 tonnes of commodities to Bangladesh in the past six-month mini-budget period (Oct 2021-Mar 2022). The exports generated an income of over US$11 million which indicated a significant increase compared to those figures ($4.7 million-$5.3 million) recorded in the same corresponding period of the previous years. Fishery product exports grew and foreign currency earnings increased.
Rakhine State witnessed a sluggish trade with Bangladesh in April and border trade raised its head again in May, full of lively activities. Up to 1,000 tonnes of fishery products were exported to Bangladesh this month. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM

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