The prices of lablab pea and rice bean have increased in the Mandalay market on the back of Chinese demand coupled with competitive buying from local warehouses, according to traders in the Mandalay pulses market.
Lablab peas fetched K80,000 per three-basket bag in the first week of February. Amid an abundant harvest, the price increased to K93,000 per bag on 24 February. The price of rice bean has also increased from K62,000 to K75,000 per bag, said U Soe Win Myint, the owner of the Soe Win Myint depot in Mandalay.
“Consumption of lablab peas in the domestic market is high, and they are also shipped to foreign markets. Although demand for rice beans is low in the local market, they are used in food processing factories in foreign countries. Earlier, China did not buy lablab peas. It started to purchase them in 2013. The demand from China has driven the price of lablab peas up,” he said.
At present, China is the main buyer of Myanmar’s lablab peas and rice beans. The beans are also shipped to India and Japan. Myanmar also exports value-added lablab peas as ready-to-eat baked peas to Singapore.
“At the moment, it is good to know that the relevant department is carrying out pedigree-based field experiments for lablab peas. As both the beans are helping bring in foreign currencies, growers must expand their plantations,” he said.
Lablab peas and rice beans are winter crops and are primarily grown in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway regions. They are harvested in January.
—Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-Printing House) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)