Prawn exports to US fetch $2 million a year

Workers sort fish at Nyaung Tan Jetty in Yangon. Photo: GNLM/Phoe Khwar.
Workers sort fish at Nyaung Tan Jetty in Yangon. Photo: GNLM/Phoe Khwar.

Myanmar’s prawn exports to the United States (US) earned the country US$2 million a year, Dr Thaung Myat, a fishery exporter, told Myanma Alinn.
In the fishery sector, fish and prawns are the main export items to the US. Rice, various types of pulses, forest products, fish, prawns and finished industrial goods from Myanmar are also sent to the US market.
Myanmar’s prawns are shipped to the US — which has strict import regulations to ensure food safety — as well as Australia and Taiwan, among others. Local consumption of prawns has also grown in Myanmar, besides the increasing demand from foreign countries.
Myanmar needs to prepare a good packaging system and implement safety measures to meet the stringent import criteria. If products in the US and the European Union market are found to have a high content of pesticides and are packaged poorly, they are sent back to the home country.
Besides this, prawns caught through improper methods, which may harm water resources, are also prohibited from being imported to the US. In 2016, the US had rejected some 27 batches of Myanmar’s fishery products imported by 13 companies.
Fishery products, including prawn, crab, squid, eel, shrimp, dried shrimp and dried fish, among others were exported to Thailand through the Kawthoung and Myeik border trade gates and to China through Muse.
The value of Myanmar’s fishery exports to foreign buyers from 1 April to 9 February in the current fiscal year reached $582 million, which registered an increase of $105 million compared with last FY.—GNLM

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