While the change in India’s policy on importation of pulses hurt beans and pulses trade this year, Myanmar shipped over 1.4 million tons of different varieties of pulses to foreign markets in the nine months from April to December.
“Myanmar’s pulses market recovered on the back of increasing demand from India late this year. Between September and November, Myanmar exported nearly 300,000 tons of mung beans. Demand from India hiked mung bean prices to K1 million per ton. Mung bean is currently priced at K780,000 per ton. While the price of pigeon peas had also soared to K850,000 per ton, it declined to K730,000 per ton recently,” said U Min Ko Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
With exports exceeding 1.4 million tons between 1 April and end of December, the volume of exports has increased by 150,000 tons compared with the corresponding period of last year.
While India is the main market for Myanmar pulses, the country exports around 30,000-40,000 tons of pulses to countries in the European Union, Japan, and China annually, said U Min Ko Oo.
In the external market, mung bean is fetching US$510 per ton, pigeon peas are priced at $480 per ton, and the price of green gram is ranging from $800-1,000 per ton. In August, 2017, India set a quota on pulses importation to protect local growers. The change in India’s import policy hurt the entire Myanmar pulses supply chain, including growers and traders, with the price of pulses plummeting to K400,000 per ton.
“This downward trend in prices was not good for the market. Growers suffered huge losses when they tried to sell their stocks. They were trapped in a losing situation as of August this year,” said U Min Ko Oo.
Myanmar’s pulses export sector relies heavily on the Indian market. Therefore, traders are worried about possible changes in India’s importation policy.
—Myint Maung Soe
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)