Rice, broken rice exports via Muse trade reach over 1 million tonnes

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Workers load sacks of rice onto a truck in Yangon. Photo: Gnlm/Phoe Khwar

Rice and broken rice exports through the Muse gate exceeded 1 million tonnes between April and December of the current fiscal year (FY), bringing in US$338 million, according to the commerce ministry.
The export volume rose significantly during this period compared with the same period last FY.
During the first nine months of the current FY, some 41,175 trucks passed through the Muse gate, whereas only 13,727 trucks made the trip last FY.
Some 75 per cent of the trade between China and Myanmar is carried out through Muse, a commercial hub. It also witnessed the majority of the country’s rice exports.
Rice exports through the Muse gate fetched some $446 million for more than 1.2 million tonnes in the 2014-2015 FY, $374 million for more than 1.03 million tonnes in the 2015-2016 FY and $208 million for more than 627,400 tonnes in the 2016-2017 FY. Border trade through the Muse checkpoint between 1 April and 12 January this FY amounted to $4.36 billion, up by $236 million compared with the same period last FY.
China has set import quotas on a few agro products, including rice. Thus, merchants have to pay excessively high taxes when the import volume exceeds the quota limit.
Officials from the two countries negotiated free trade access by abolishing the quota-controlled market system at the Joint Border Trade Cooperating and Coordinating Committee meeting, held on 26 December, 2017. If the two countries decide on an official free trade agreement, Myanmar will have to improve its rice quality to meet the criteria of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China. Rice trade via sea has now improved. Sea routes accounted for some 60 per cent of Myanmar’s rice exports, whereas 40 per cent was carried out through the border gates this fiscal year. Last year, only 29 countries bought rice from Myanmar. Myanmar’s rice is now being shipped to some 48 countries through the sea routes.

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