Myanmar eyes 2 million tons of rice exports in 2015-16 FY

Farmers start cultivation of monsoon paddy not only for local food  sufficiency but for raising rice export.—Photo: Aye Min Soe
Farmers start cultivation of monsoon paddy not only for local food sufficiency but for raising rice export.—Photo: Aye Min Soe

Yangon, 19 May — Myanmar’s rice exports will hit roughly 2 million tons this fiscal year amid increasing demand from China, Africa and Europe, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Exporters are sending roughly 4,000 tons a day by road to China following a surge in demand from the neighbouring country, according to the state-run Kyemon Daily.
After three consecutive years of high export volume  — 1.4 million tons in fiscal 2012-2013, 1.2 million tons in 2013-2014, and 1.8 million tons in 2014-2015 — Myanmar is looking to become one of the world’s top three rice exporters in the next few years.
Myanmar’s roughly 1.8 million tons of rice exports in 2014-2015 marked a 49-year high, while the 1.4 million tons exported in 2012-2013 was a 74-year high, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar’s fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on May 31.
The agro-based economy has seen a dramatic increase in agricultural exports, earning some US $2.7 billion in fiscal 2014-2015, up from around US $1.8 billion the previous year.
According to Ministry of Commerce figures, Myanmar’s corn exports have increased from some thousands of tons before fiscal 2012-13 to more than 1 million tons in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, respectively, and more than 1.8 million tons in the 2014-2015.
Meanwhile, export volumes of fruits, sesame, beans and pulses in fiscal 2014-2015 also increased.
Myanmar mostly exports agricultural produce, animal by-products and fishery products, as well as mine and forest products, while it imports consumer products, raw materials and investment goods.
The government is planning to implement the National Export Strategy, which focuses on seven sectors — rice, peas and pulses, fisheries products, textiles, timber and forest products, rubber, and tourism in an attempt to tackle the trade deficit, which stood at roughly US $5 billion in 2014-2015, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Implementing the NES is expected to cost $900 million over five years, said an official who participated in the workshop for its implementation in Yangon on 30 March.
The Ministry of Commerce will give priority to export sectors in an attempt to boost the country’s economy, U Win Myint, Union Minister for Commerce, said in parliament recently.— GNLM

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