Rice exports plunged by about 400,000 tonnes than last year

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A farmer harvests rice from a paddy field in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Aye Min Soe

The volume of rice exports during this Fiscal Year was down by about 400,000 tonnes when compared to that of last FY, said U Aung Myint, the secretary of Myanmar Rice Traders Association.
The rice export in this FY to the Chinese and European markets declined. About 900,000 tonnes of rice have been exported to abroad and a total of about 1 million tonnes of rice are expected to be exported by the end of this FY, it is learnt.
The drop in export volume is due to merchants earning little profits between the market price of rice in the domestic market and the purchase price, plus the transportation cost. In addition, the confiscation of the product by China authorities resulted in the decrease in rice exports to China, he added.
The low-quality rice that flowed into Europe and China through normal trade was offered at US$315 per tonne  in 2015 and this year, the export price was around US$280 to 300 per tonne. The quality rice fetched about US$345 per tonne, it is learnt.
Previously, Myanmar’s rice export market was solely dependent on China but it has now attained new market destinations in Africa. However, the businessmen cannot export larger volumes if they are making only a low profit, U Aung Myint continued.
Myanmar exported 1.4million tonnes of rice in 2012-2013 FY, 1.2million tonnes in 2013-2014 FY, 1.8million tonnes in 2014-2015 FY and about 1.4million tonnes in 2015-2016 FY, according to an announcement released by the Ministry of Commerce.—Phyo Lwin Aung (AMIA)

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