Myanmar’s foreign income thrives on coffee beans, tobacco exports to Thailand

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Myanmar has been exporting coffee beans through the Tachilek trade camp since the financial year 2014-2015. In the most recent financial year 2022-2023, the country generated $0.220 million from the export of 161 tonnes. Photo : Kanu

Myanmar’s trade with Thailand has been bolstered by the export of coffee beans from hilly regions and tobacco from central zones, providing a significant source of foreign income, as reported by the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization (Taunggyi).
The majority of coffee beans come from picturesque townships such as PyinOoLwin, Ywangan, Kalaw, Kengtung, and Mongkoe, all located in Shan State. These beans find their way to Mae Sai in Thailand via the Tachilek trade camp. The export process involves obtaining an export licence, employing QR codes, and adhering to the electronic data interchange (EDI) system.
Myanmar has been exporting coffee beans through the Tachilek trade camp since the financial year 2014-2015. In the most recent financial year 2022-2023, the country generated $0.220 million from the export of 161 tonnes. The second week of July 2023-2024 witnessed a shipment of 17 tonnes, earning $0.042 million, with coffee beans being sold at a price range of 140-160 baht per kilogramme.
Tobacco produced in the Pakokku region is also a thriving export commodity. This new category of tobacco exports through the Tachilek trading camp began in the fiscal year 2022-2023. During the last financial year, 139.154 tonnes of tobacco exports brought in $0.070 million. In June, exports of 32.873 tonnes generated $0.017 million, while the third week of July in the current financial year 2023-2024 saw exports of 31.2 tonnes, resulting in $0.015 million in revenue.
The central zones of Myanmar, encompassing regions like Magway, Mandalay, and Sagaing, where the Ayeyawady and Chindwin rivers meet, are ideally suited for the abundant commercial cultivation of tobacco due to the alluvial lands. Annually, two types of tobacco are grown: Virginia tobacco and Myanmar tobacco, with the latter being the predominant choice for farmers.
A tobacco farmer from Myinwin Village in Pakokku Township disclosed that the production cost for one acre of tobacco is approximately K900,000, which includes expenses for land preparation, machinery, agrochemicals, cow manure, pesticides, and labour. Last year’s prices fetched K1,650 per viss, but this year, selling at K2,000 per viss for an estimated yield of 7,000 visses per acre could result in an income of about K1.4 million, yielding a profit of K500,000. Cultivating on alluvial land could produce nearly 900 visses per acre, potentially increasing profitability. Presently, Myanmar boasts about 500 acres of tobacco cultivation. However, the demand fluctuation and riverbank collapses have caused a reduction of 300 acres of tobacco cultivation for this year. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/KTZH

 

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