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Myanmar records trade surplus on lower import

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Myanmar’s exports surpassed imports in international trade although overall trade value declined in comparison with the same corresponding period of the 2020-2021 financial year.

Myanmar’s lower import nearly two months of the current mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022) resulted in a positive trade balance of US$103.9 million, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar’s exports surpassed imports in international trade although overall trade value declined in comparison with the same corresponding period of the 2020-2021 financial year.
Between 1 October and 26 November, the country’s exports were estimated at $2.2 billion, imports were valued at $2.1 billion this FY. The external trade drastically sank to $4.3 billion from $4.6 billion recorded in the year-ago period.
“This is a positive balance of trade. A trade surplus is harmful only when the government uses protectionism,” a trader points out.
Myanmar witnessed a slump in exports and imports triggered by the coronavirus impacts. Myanmar’s maritime trade climbed up yet the country witnessed a drop in border trade amid the coronavirus impacts and political changes. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and restrict trading in certain border areas.
Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, raw industrial materials and consumer goods.
The country’s export sector relies more on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The Ministry of Commerce is trying to reduce the trade deficit by screening luxury import items and boosting exports. The country mainly imports essential goods, construction materials, capital goods, hygienic material and supporting products for export promotion and import substitution.
Myanmar’s trade deficit was pegged at $1.3 billion in the 2019-2020FY, $1.14 billion in the 2018-2019FY, $1.3 billion in the previous mini-budget period (April-September 2018), $3.9 billion in the 2017-2018FY, $5.3 billion in the 2016-2017FY and $5.4 billion in the 2015-2016FY, according to statistics released by the Central Statistical Organization. — MM/GNLM

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