Myanmar rice exports exceed 2 mln tonnes as of 19 June

Rice sacks are being loaded onto a vessel at a port in Yangon. File Photo/ GNLM

The volume of rice and broken rice exported between 1 October and 19 June in the current fiscal year crossed 2.088 million metric tons, worth $621 million, according to an announcement from the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

Myanmar’s maritime trade constituted 86.08 per cent of rice exports and generated an estimated income of US$539.57 million as of 19 June in the current fiscal year, showing an increase of $184 million against last year, as per data from the Commerce Ministry.

Earlier, border trade was relatively high compared to sea trade in terms of rice exports. Since the previous financial year, border trade has dropped, and currently, it accounts for just 13.92 per cent of the total rice exports. Rice exports through the border gates have generated an estimated $81.47 million in the current financial year, which plunged from $167 million registered during a-year ago period.

Myanmar primarily exports rice to China through the borders. However, trade in agricultural products has been halted on account of China clamping down on illegal trade.

In the current financial year, Myanmar has shipped rice to 66 foreign markets. China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice. The country’s broken rice has been sent to 57 foreign countries, mostly to Belgium.

ASEAN countries constitute 17 per cent of Myanmar’s total rice exports. The European Union countries account for over 19.74 per cent of rice exports, while 32.22 per cent of total rice exports in Myanmar goes to African countries.

According to the work coordination meeting held on 26 June, 150,000 tonnes of rice will be exported each in July and August. And, 100,000 tonnes of rice will be sent to the external market in September, totalling rice export quota of 400,000 tonnes.

The Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Inspection and Testing Service (MITS), the authorized organization of the State and MRF implemented rice reserve scheme on 30 April. The state has purchased about 13,000 tonnes of rice so far, in line with the set rules and regulations, said Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo of the Ministry of Commerce.

Additionally, starting from July, each export quota limit for companies is to be lifted and licence permit under contract was discussed and approved.
Regarding the State’s rice reserve scheme, the rice volume for reserve will be cut to 5 per cent from 10 per cent of total rice export. This action will come into effect on 1 July 2020.

Before seeking the export licence, the companies must provide 2.5 per cent of total rice export as the reserved rice, and then, the remaining 2.5 per cent must be sent to the State’s warehouses within 15 days after receiving the licence, as per decisions of the coordination meeting.

Moreover, the meeting decided that the validity of rice export licence is extended up to 60 days from the earlier term of 45 days, MRF stated.
Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) has been accelerating its effort to meet rice export target of 2.4 million tonnes in the current financial year 2019-2020, according to MRF. — GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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