By Nyein Nyein
The price of mung beans has increased by K160,000 per ton within a week in the local market due to high demand from India, said U Min Ko Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
“Today, the price of mung beans reached up to K1,000,000, an increase of K160,000 per ton compared to last week, when mung beans were priced at just K840,000,” he added.
India, the main buyer of Myanmar beans and pulses, had announced an import quota of 150,000 tons for mung beans this year. With the demand for mung beans from India rising during their bean production season, India is purchasing Myanmar beans as there is market demand, and orders to buy mung beans are being made with the permission of the Indian government, said U Min Ko Oo.
“The mung beans price has increased for two reasons. First, India needs the beans. Their bean production has not been satisfactory because of poor weather conditions. They have decided to purchase 150,000 tons of beans, depending upon the need. We have also seen that India has been purchasing Myanmar beans through the market order system, with the permission of the Union government. So, the price of mung beans has increased,” he said.
Currently, new mung beans are fetching over K100,000 per ton in the local market. If India continues to purchase mung beans from Myanmar, the mung beans price will go on increasing, he added.
The Union Minister for Commerce had attended the 4th ASEAN-India Expo and Summit, which was held in New Delhi, India, in February, along with beans and sesame merchants. The delegation had met with Indian officials and requested the purchase of 400,000 tons of mung beans from Myanmar this year. However, the Indian authorities have not responded to the request yet, according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
Besides India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, and European countries are buying beans and pulses from Myanmar. But, the volume of purchase from these countries is low, according to the association.
“The Ministry of Commerce has been conducting a series of discussions to sell Myanmar’s beans under government-to-government agreements. Additionally, the ministry has been exploring more external markets,” said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister for Commerce.
India’s move to restrict importation of pulses in August, 2017 severely affected growers in Myanmar.
In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, over one million tons of mung beans, pigeon peas, and green grams were shipped to foreign countries. But, the earnings were registered at just $713 million owing to a price drop, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. (Translated by Hay Mar)