Weak dollar exchange rate affects beans market

LOCAL NEWS

Myanmar beans growers and exporters have taken a hit due to the Kyat gaining against the US dollar and Indian traders quoting low prices, according to the Mandalay commodity depot.
The drop in beans prices can be attributed to the depreciation of the dollar against the Kyat and traders offering low prices in spite of India’s one-month extension for beans exports, said traders.
“India’s mung beans requirement has been increasing, but the traders are offering a low price. Mung beans prices are currently sliding,” according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
The dollar exchange rate has fallen sharply from K1,439 (7 February) to K1,385 (7 March), according to the local forex market.
With the Kyat strengthening against the US dollar, the price of Myanmar mung beans has dropped by K130,000 per ton within two weeks from above K1 million to around K870,000 per ton. The price of pigeon peas has also plunged from K710,000 to K670,000 per ton this week.
While India had earlier set the mung beans quota at 150,000 tons, it increased the quota limit by a further 250,000 tons last year, according to a trade notice issued by India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
Following President U Win Myint’s visit to India, the March-end deadline for exporting 250,000 tons of mung beans to the neighboring country was extended until the end of April, the association stated.
India recorded low mung beans yield due to erratic weather last year. With the provincial government’s approval, mung beans are being purchased above the previous quota limit, which has driven mung beans prices above K1.3 million per ton.
In Myanmar, mung beans are mainly produced in Sagaing, Bago, Ayeyawady, Yangon, and Mandalay region. The association estimates mung bean production will reach 400,000-500,000 tons this year.
Myanmar’s mung beans, pigeon peas, and green grams are primarily exported to India. Although Myanmar pulses and beans have penetrated markets in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the volume of exports to those countries is extremely low.
Myanmar shipped more than 1.6 million tons of different varieties of pulses, worth an estimated US$1 billion, in the 2018-2019 financial year. — Mon Mon (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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