Sea trade accounts for over 85% of rice exports in current fiscal

Workers loading the truck with sacks of rice at Botahtaung Jetty in Yangon . Photo : Phoe Khwar
Workers loading the truck with sacks of rice at Botahtaung Jetty in Yangon . Photo : Phoe Khwar

Myanmar’s maritime trade accounted for more than 85 per cent of rice exports and generated an estimated income of US$221.8 million as of 27 December in the current financial year, as per data from the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Earlier, border trade was relatively high compared to sea trade in terms of rice exports. Since the previous financial year, border trade has registered a drop, and currently, it accounts for just 14.7 per cent of the total rice exports. Rice exports through the border gates have generated an estimated $34.6 million in the current financial year.
The volume of rice and broken rice exported between 1 October and 27 December in the 2019-2020 fiscal year has been estimated at over 894.880 metric tons, worth $256.45 million, according to an announcement from the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Myanmar has shipped rice to 53 foreign markets in the current financial year.
China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice, followed by Madagascar and Malaysia. Cameroon is the fourth-largest buyer and Mozambique the fifth-largest buyer of Myanmar rice. The European Union countries account for over 12.4 per cent of rice exports, while 39.25 per cent of rice grown in Myanmar goes to African countries.
In the current fiscal, Myanmar has exported broken rice mostly to Indonesia, followed by Senegal, Belgium, Guinea, and the Netherlands. Broken rice has been placed in 45 foreign markets.
Myanmar primarily exports rice to China through the border gates. However, trade in agricultural products has been halted on account of China clamping down on illegal trade.
At present, rice is being exported to China through a government-to-government (G2G) agreement and a barter system, in exchange for Chinese goods.
“With border demand decreasing, the price of rice is likely to remain on the low side,” according to the Bayintnaung commodity depot.
The price of Myanmar low-quality rice declined by about K2,500 per bag in December, 2019 compared to 2018, according to domestic market statistics.
Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tons of rice in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.29 million metric tons, worth $691 million, in the 2018-2019FY.—GNLM (Translated by EMM)

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