Sugar re-export on the rise

A farmer prepares to plant sugarcane in a farmland.
A farmer prepares to plant sugarcane in a farmland.

SUGAR re-export is on the rise again , a change noted since 20 March. Myanmar legally re-exports imported sugar from India and Thailand to China via two routes: The Tamu-Monywa-Mandalay-Muse route and the Kawthaung-Yangon-Mandalay-Muse route, according to Mandalay Sugar commodity depot.
The price of suger per viss (approximately 1.6 kilograms) fell from around K1200 to around K1060 between 9 and 18 February. The price rose a little bit, according to sources, to K1070-1090 on 21 March. The price of re-export is K 20-30 higher than locally refined sugar.
“This is the high sugar yield season in Thailand. The price has dropped down due to the low demand from China. We re-export the sugar to China by purchasing the produce from Thai and India because local sugar does not meet export quality, said U Htay from the Mandalay sugar commodity depot.
Great-Wall sugar and Pale sugar produced in Myanmar are of export quality and so exported to China in small batches. Sugar produced in Thailand and India can meet export quality on a much larger scale as they use more advanced refining techniques. Most of the sugar produced in the country has local market interest only.
The price of sugar depends on both the exchange rate and the demand from China. Usually, the price declines when demand is low. Now the price has risen, said Ko Ye Min Aung, a Tine Kyaw sugar mill owner.
Sugar mill owners purchase the sugarcane from Ngar-oe, Myataung, Maungkon, Moehtar, Kyaukhtonegyi and Innywar. They produce sugar mainly for the local market as Myanmar sugar does not look appealing. Myanmar also lacks advanced refining machinery. Sugar manufactures from other nations make sugar directly from sugar cane. In Myanmar, however, the sugarcane is crushed for juice and it is from the liquid that the sugar is produced.
Transportation float between K70 to K100 per viss due to Mandalay-Muse road traffic jams. A bag of sugar weighing 50 kilogram sells for Yuan 200. The unstable Yuan exchange rate, high transportation charges and taxes are the main causes of current low profit in the industry.


Aung Thant Khaing

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