Myanmar’s rice export volume drops by half this FY 2023-2024

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Export rice sacks being loaded onto the vessel at Yangon Port.

Drop in Myanmar’s rice export as of 13 October in the current financial year 2023-2024 beginning 1 April closed to half of the volume recorded in the corresponding period last FY 2022-2023, as per the Ministry of Commerce.
The value of Myanmar’s rice and broken rice exports totalled US$246.114 million from over 535,508 tonnes over the past seven months this FY, comprising 270,226 tonnes of rice worth $138.247 million and 265,281 tonnes of broken rice worth $107.867 million, as per Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
Myanmar exported over 973,336 tonnes of rice and broken rice worth $343.216 million during the year-ago period, including 570,583 tonnes of rice worth $211.411 million and 402,753 tonnes of broken rice worth $131.805 million.
Over the past seven months, the rice export figures showed a significant drop of over 300,356 tonnes of rice ($73.164 million) and 137,471 tonnes of broken rice ($23.938 million) compared to last FY.
Cross-border trade with China is suspended for now under the inevitable circumstances. Subsequently, rice exports at the border drastically dropped. At present, rice export is reliant only on seaborne trade, rice traders emphasized.
Starting 1 March 2023, 65 per cent of income from rice exports through the border has to be exchanged at the reference rate (K2,100) set by the Central Bank of Myanmar.
Earlier, exporters were allowed to use the whole export income (foreign currency) and did not need to convert them into Kyat at the CBM’s reference rate.
This action came into force for all rice and rice products exports starting from 1 March 2023 to influence the policy on export items equally, which is the same policy for seaborne trade, the Trade Department notified.
Following this directive, cross-border rice exports plunged.
Nonetheless, the CBM eased the foreign currency rules to 50 per cent for exporters on 13 July 2023. The exporters stressed that it still hurt them.
Myanmar aims to achieve 2.5 million tonnes of rice export in the current FY, bagging $1 billion. — NN/EM

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