Myanmar’s rice export through sea trade drastically plunged in the past two months amid the competitive pricing, the traders said. The export price of Myanmar’s rice is relatively lower than in other Asian countries such as Thailand and Viet Nam. Yet, the prices are a bit higher than those market prices of India and Pakistan, Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) stated.
Myanmar cannot practise price reduction strategies based on competition to cover the production and logistic costs. Consequently, exports by sea are dropping, for now, said exporters.
Myanmar’s rice export by sea generated an estimated income of US$77.08 million as of 27 November in the current financial year, and the figures reflect a decrease of $74.67 million compared with a year-ago period. The export volume by sea plunged from over 519,368 tonnes to 206,046 tonnes in the current FY, as per data released by MRF.
However, rice exports via land border rose in the current FY. Rice exports through the land borders have generated an estimated $53.96 million (144,214 tonnes) in the current FY, which increased from $25.379 million (96,224 tonnes) registered in the corresponding period of last year.
“China’s demand is increasing during the harvest time of monsoon paddy. The price is pretty good, as well. About 40,000 rice bags are daily entering the Muse trade zone for now, and then, the traders keep sending the rice bags to China,” U Min Thein, vice-chairman of Muse rice depot said.
Additionally, K10.6 billion fraud case by the Chinese trader has not affected the rice trade through the Muse border so far, and the business is still continued, he added. The volume of rice and broken rice exported between 1 October and 27 November in the current FY reached 350,260 metric tons, worth over US$131 million, according to an announcement from MRF.
Myanmar targets to export 4 million tonnes of rice and broken rice in the current FY, said U Aung Than Oo, vice-president of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF). MRF expected to ship 2.4 million tonnes of rice, and broken rice in the last FY ended 30 September 2020. The country surpassed the export target, sending over 426,611 metric tons to neighbouring countries through border trade and over 2.15 million tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners via maritime trade, totalling over 2.58 million tonnes. Last year, a surge in rice shipping through sea trade was contributed to meeting year’s export target, MRF stated. 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 Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)