As India is the main buyer of Myanmar pulses and beans, Myanmar growers are affected by any change in Indian policy on import of pulses, said U Min Ko Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association. At present, the prices of mung beans and pigeon peas have climbed up on strong demand from India, he added.
On the back of increasing demand from India in the third week of December, mung bean FAQ (fair and average quality) is currently fetching K815,000 per ton in the market, pigeon peas are priced at K780,000 per ton, and the rate for green gram is K1-1.1 million, depending on their quality, said merchants.
Myanmar’s mung beans, pigeon peas, and green grams are primarily exported to India. Although Myanmar pulses and beans have penetrated the markets of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the volume of exports to those countries is extremely low.
India’s move to restrict importation of pulses in August 2017 severely affected growers in Myanmar. To tackle the resultant slowdown in the Myanmar pulses market, a discussion on methods to boost the production and exports of pulses, beans, and sesame seeds was organized on 8 August 2018 at the UMFCCI office. Participants at the discussion also mulled replacing mung beans with more profitable crops.
“Indian merchants have increasingly purchased mung beans and pigeon peas in the past three months as a result of growing demand. The price of mung beans touched K950,000 to 1 million per ton in November. So, we can see how our pulses market is directly related to demand from India. Indian traders are purchasing pulses if there is a demand in their market. If not, they are restricting imports of pulses,” said U Min Ko Oo.
Therefore, a government-to-government (G-to-G) agreement is required so that our growers and traders do not suffer on account of changes in Indian policy on importation of pulses, he added.
“We import pharmaceuticals and building materials from India and export pulses. When India restricts importation of pulses, it disturbs the trade
equilibrium between the countries. Matters related to beans exports were also discussed during the Indian president’s recent visit to Myanmar,” said U Min Ko Oo.
Myanmar ships over 1 million tons of different varieties of pulses to other counties annually, and mung beans, green grams, and pigeon peas make up a majority of the exports.
By Nyein Nyein
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)