Negotiations underway with China for cattle exports


Myanmar has held a series of negotiations with China at the Joint Border Trade Cooperation and Coordinating Committee (JBTCC) meetings on legal exports of cattle along with cross-border control of communicable diseases. While cattle exports are legal in Myanmar, livestock trade is still not permitted by China, according to the Myanmar Livestock Federation. “They are ensuring that cattle that is to be traded is free from foot and mouth disease. Discussions between China and Myanmar are under way,” the federation stated. Myanmar has officially permitted the export of cattle. Therefore, the Myanmar government is planning to enter into a Government-to-Government pact with China so that Myanmar traders have a legal trade channel with China and do not suffer losses by indulging in illegal trade.
In a bid to encourage legal trade, increase income, and create more jobs for local residents, Myanmar had in late 2017 granted permission for livestock trade, along with decentralized cattle exports from regional and state governments. But, this power was transferred from regional governments to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, as they faced certain difficulties in the movement of cattle, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Commerce on 22 May. Traders mainly export cattle to China through the Muse border gate, as well as to Thailand.
Normally, a large cow is valued at over K1.6-2.3 million, but early this year, the suspension of trade led to Chinese traders resorting to price manipulation and offering a lower price of about K1 million. Between the 2017-2018FY and October in the current FY, over 460,000 heads of cattle, with an estimated value of over US$581 million, were exported to China through Muse, according to trade figures. At present, cattle that are over five years old are being exported, along with the required vaccination certificates, health certificates, and farming registration certificates. According to the 2018 cattle census, there are 11.5 million heads of cattle in the country. The authorities have issued cattle export licenses to more than 300 companies in the Magway Region. There are around 5,000 companies holding cattle export licenses across the country. —GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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