Rice price slightly rises in September

Workers load a vehicle with rice bags at a port in Yangon.   Photo : Phoe Khwar

The prices of rice in export and domestic markets slightly increased in September amid the coronavirus crisis, as per data of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF). Following the coronavirus resurgence in Myanmar, rice was highly demanded in the domestic market. The domestic retail market in September saw a rise of K1,000-1,500 per 108-pound bag compared to August’s prices, said traders from Bayintnaung market. The prices of rice last month for Pawsan varieties moved in the ranges of K38,000-50,000 per 108-pound-bag in the domestic market, while low-quality rice fetched K22,000-26,500, MRF data showed.
“When the volume of old rice stock has become smaller, the surging coronavirus cases in September prompted the people to make bulk-buying, making the price up by around K1,000-3,000 per bag compared with the previous month. The residents prefer old rice to the newly harvested crop”, traders said. The fresh rice will enter the market soon, so the price of new rice is likely to slide. But, the cost of old rice is expected to remain strong, said a trader from Wahdan depot.
There is self-sufficiency in the domestic market, and people do not need to concern over the shortage of rice. A total of 100,100 bags (108 pounds per bag) from reserved rice have been sold between 10 July and 3 October 2020, and about 701,689 bags are left to sell, MRF stated.
In September, the export prices of white rice (low quality) and parboiled rice range US$385 to 500 per metric tonne depending on quality, indicating a slight increase compared with the previous months. The foreign market purchases our rice as the price is relatively lower than other Asian countries such as Thailand and Viet Nam, MRF data showed. Yet, the prices are higher than those market prices of India and Pakistan, MRF’s data showed.
MRF expected to ship 2.4 million tonnes of rice, and broken rice in the Financial Year2019-2020 and the country meet the export target before the financial year-end. Between 1 October and 11 September, Myanmar sent over 413,490 metric tonnes to neighbouring countries through border trade, while over 2.117 million tonnes of rice and broken rice were shipped to foreign trade partners via maritime trade, totalling over 2.53 million tonnes.
Ove the past eleven months, the value of Myanmar’s rice and broken export was estimated at US$774.89 million.
A surge in rice shipping through sea trade was contributed to meeting year’s export target, MRF stated.
Myanmar has shipped rice to 66 foreign markets. China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice, followed by Malaysia and Philippines. Madagascar is the fourth-largest buyer and Guinea the fifth-largest buyer of Myanmar rice. In the 2019-2020FY, Myanmar has exported broken rice mostly to Belgium, followed by China, Senegal, Indonesia and Thailand. Broken rice has been placed in 60 foreign markets.
Myanmar targets to export 4 million tonnes of rice and broken rice in the current FY 2020-2021, said U Aung Than Oo. Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the FY2017-2018, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.3 million tonnes, in the FY2018-2019.—Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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