Myanmar’s sesame exports to China slow amid forex rules

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Sesame plants are kept in the sun for winnowing at the farming plain.

The prices of various sesame seeds headed for the fourth-week fall amid the forex rules, said traders.
The directive released on 30 June said that transactions for the exports of agricultural products including corn, rice, beans and pulses are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat direct payment for border trade settlement.
Therefore, export earnings of the beans and pulses have to be exchanged for the US dollar according to the reference rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar (K2,100). Nonetheless, there is a large gap between the regulated rate and unofficial rate of the US dollar.
At present, the exchange rate against the US dollar over-the-counter-market is around K2,900.
Additionally, the market is sluggish when the Tazaungdaing Festival is approaching.
The prices of black sesame seeds stood at K230,000-K285,000 per 45-viss bag depending on the varieties on 28 October 2022, while it was priced approximately K255,000-K320,000 per bag on 7 September.
On 28 October 2022, the black sesame fetched K3,875,470 per tonne, which declined from K4,558,903 per tonne last month, showing a sharp decline of K680,433 per tonne.
Similarly, the prices of white and brown sesame also dropped in the last week of October respectively.
Additionally, after Myanmar’s export ban on oil crops reversed, the prices of peanut and sesame prices inflated in the mid-year, according to the commodity depots.
Myanmar’s sesame was earlier exported to China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China Taipei (Taiwan). However, it is now relying solely on China and the shipments to other foreign countries have certain difficulties.
Sesame is cultivated in the country throughout the year. Magway Region, which has gained a reputation as the oil pot of Myanmar, is the main producer of sesame seeds. The seeds are also grown in Mandalay and Sagaing regions.
Of the cooking oil crops grown in Myanmar, the acreage under sesame seed is the highest, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the overall oil crop plantation. Approximately 600,000-800,000 tonnes of sesame seeds are produced yearly.—KK/GNLM

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