Myanmar regains foreign markets as export rice prices rise in November

Myanmar regained rice market shares from certain countries on account of high quality and the price also increased in November, said U Ye Min Aung, Chairman of Myanmar Rice Federation.
The export price of Myanmar’s rice is relatively lower than the rates of Thailand and Viet Nam. Yet, the prices are higher than those market prices of India and Pakistan, MRF’s data showed. In November, the export prices of Myanmar white rice (low quality), broken rice and parboiled rice rose compared to October’s rate. The prices moved in the range of US$400-490 per metric ton.
Following the coronavirus resurgence in Myanmar, rice was highly demanded in the domestic market. The domestic retail market in November saw a rise of K500-2,000 per 108-pound bag compared to October’s prices, said traders from Bayintnaung market. The prices of rice last month for Pawsan varieties moved in the ranges of K38,000-57,000 per 108-pound-bag in the domestic market, while low-quality rice fetched K22,000-28,000, MRF data showed.
The local people prefer old rice to the newly harvested crop. When the fresh rice enters the market, the price of old rice is remained strong, said a trader from Wahdan commodity depot. Myanmar exported 350,260 tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners between 1 October and 27 November in the current financial year 2020-2021, generating an income of over US$300 million, as per MRF’s data.
MRF expected to ship 2.4 million tonnes of rice, and broken rice in the last FY ended 30 September 2020. The country surpassed the export target, sending over 426,611 tonnes to neighbouring countries through border trade and over 2.15 million tonnes of rice and broken to foreign trade partners via maritime trade, totalling over 2.58 million tonnes.
Last year, Myanmar shipped rice to 66 foreign markets. China is the leading buyer of Myanmar rice, followed by the Philippines and Malaysia. Madagascar is the fourth-largest buyer and Poland, the fifth-largest buyer of Myanmar rice.
Meanwhile, Myanmar exported broken rice mostly to Belgium, followed by China, Senegal, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Broken rice was placed in 60 foreign markets. ASEAN countries constitute 18 per cent of Myanmar’s total rice exports with over 466,882 tonnes. In comparison, 30 per cent of total rice exports in Myanmar goes to China with over 775,884 tonnes, followed by African countries with 27 per cent after exports of around 706,302 tonnes. The European Union countries account for over 20 per cent of rice exports with over 514,523 tonnes while other countries represent five per cent of exports with over 122,786 tonnes.
Next, Myanmar yearly produces 13 million tonnes of rice. There is self-sufficiency in the domestic market, and rice reserves have been stored in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay. Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the FY2017-2018, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.3 million tonnes, in the FY2018-2019. —Ko Khant  (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)


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