The value of Myanmar’s trade with China through maritime and sea trade channels totalled over US$6.4 billion in October and March of 2019-2020, including $2.9 billion worth of exports and 3.4 billion for import, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Myanmar’s regional trade with ASEAN countries touched a high of $6.9 billion.
Myanmar primarily exports agro products to China through the borders. Data from the Ministry of Commerce shows the value of Sino-Myanmar trade at all five borders has touched $3.9 billion as of 29 May in the current fiscal since October, which significantly plunged from $4.1 billion recorded in the year-ago period.
At present, China has been stepping up border control measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, Chinese buyers do not come to Myanmar borders in light of coronavirus fears, forcing Myanmar truck drivers to leave for Wanding area to sell the goods and causing trade delay.
Next, the export of agricultural products is often halted, on account of China clamping down on illegal goods. Myanmar merchants are facing difficulties in exporting goods to China through the legitimate channel as they find the tax levied by China is too high. Therefore, rice confiscation and price manipulation are occurring often at the border.
The value of bilateral trade with China was $11.36 billion in the 2018-2019 FY, $6 billion in the past mini-budget period, $11.78 billion in the 2017-2018 FY and $10.8 billion in the 2016-2017 FY respectively.
Rice, various types of peas, sesame seeds, corn, fruits and vegetables, dried tea leaves, fishery products, rubber, minerals and animal products are exported to China, whereas machinery, plastic raw materials, consumer products and electronic tools flow into Myanmar.— GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)