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December 8, 2019

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Seed imports banned as fungal disease hits Thai rubber trees

A worker tapping a rubber tree in Thailan. The outbreak of a fungal infection of Thai rubber trees has led to a ban of imports of rubber seeds, seedlings and saplings into Myanmar. Photo - EPAThe outbreak of a fungal disease that weakens rubbers trees in Thailand has led to the halt of imports of rubber seeds, seedlings, and saplings into Myanmar, local authorities announce. Following the outbreak of the Pestalotiopsis sub species fungal infection of Thai rubber trees, rubber seeds, seedlings, and saplings will not be allowed through local airports and border gates, the Crop Protecting Unit of the Department of Agriculture said.

The Pestalotiopsis fungal disease has spread in some rubber plantations in Thailand, so precautionary measures have to be taken to protect Myanmar’s rubber trees. Additionally, imports of rubber seeds, seedlings, and saplings from other countries will also be halted, said U Win Zaw, head of the Myeik District Agriculture Department. The ban, which affects not only Thanintharyi Region, but the whole country, remains in effect indefinitely. The current announcement will be effective until the next one is issued.

The outbreak of the fungus does not affect the rubber market and imports of raw rubber and rubber latex are still allowed without restriction as before. The rubber market has been poor for a long time and there are only a few growers these days. Sellers are not interested in it so the ban has little impact. Rubber price is low in Myeik and some plantation owners have stopped extraction of latex because they can’t even cover production costs. According to some rubber growers, the fungus has also spread in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka although this has not been confirmed.

Source: Myanmar Times 

CMP businesses import raw materials worth $160.7 mln

Image result for cmp garmentImports of raw materials by CMP businesses from 1 to 25 October in the current fiscal were valued at US$160.7 million, an increase of $12 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. And export of finished industrial goods touched $477 million in 25 days of trading. In 2018-2019FY, export of finished industrial goods crossed $9.8 billion while it was $8 billion in 2017-2018FY.

According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the manufacturing sector is likely to attract the most foreign investments in the current fiscal year. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garments and textiles produced on the cutting, making, and packaging basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. The CMP industry has emerged as a very promising one in the export sector.

The value of CMP exports was just $850 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but it tripled within two years to reach $2.5 billion in the 2017-2018FY, as per figures provided during the Myanmar Global Investment Forum 2018, held on 12 September 2018. Japan is the largest market for Myanmar apparel, followed by the European Union. There are currently over 400 garment factories in Myanmar, which employ more than 300,000 workers. Investors prefer to invest in cheap-labor countries like Myanmar.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar 

India’s possible purchase drives mung beans prices up to above K1.18 mln per ton

Image result for mung beansMung bean price breached K1.18 million per ton for FAQ (fair and average quality) in the domestic market following the news of India’s possible purchase of more mung beans, according to Bayintnaung commodity depot. India’s October-end import deadline has already expired. However, India might purchase the beans when there is market demand.

The price of mung beanshas been gradually increasing since the end of September. Mung bean was priced at K853,000 per ton in early October, and is currently pegged above K1.18 million per ton, according to a commodity depot in Yangon. At present, mung beans are fetching K1.18 million per ton in the Yangon market, an increase of some K300,000 per ton within one month.

Besides India, Myanmar beans are purchased by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, China (Taipei), Japan, and other ASEAN and European countries. But the volume of demand remains small. The Ministry of Commerce has been conducting a series of discussions to sell Myanmar beans through government-to-government (G2G) pacts. In addition, the ministry has been exploring more external markets, said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister for Commerce.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

Muse border gate to get MACCS

Related imageCustoms Department plans to install Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS) at Muse border gate by the end of 2020, said Win Thant, Director of Customs Department. The department can use this system only when the budget is allotted for 2020. Now it has started working on the tender process as it is just the beginning of the budget year.

Currently, the MACCS is in operation at 13 airports and jetties including Thilawa Special Economic Zone. MACCS was introduced since November 12, 2016 and it started running at Myawady Border on Thai-Myanmar border on June 5, 2018. Plans are underway to extend it to other borders.

According to U Kyaw Htin, Director of Customs Department, currently, the MACCS cannot operate fully. Especially, the payment system which links the banks still have weaknesses. The department needs to increase its staff strength due to increased trade and extension of inspection camps and dry ports. Currently, the department is facing difficulties due to low staff strength. Customs would need more staff when dry ports and bonded warehouses are built.

Source: Eleven Myanmar 

Myanmar will test avocado shipment to foreign markets next month

Image result for AvocadoAssociation Chairman U Myo Nyunt said they don’t have a sizable systematically grown plantation big enough to supply large exports. That’s why they will only send avocados during their peak season to the three foreign nations, as part of a test import strategy. The peak season for avocado in Myanmar is from November to January when they produce fruits with the highest quality.

Avocados shouldn’t be plucked when they are still tender. There are too many tender avocados in local market and most of them are not suitable for consumption. Avocados should be harvested when they begin to ripen in November. The avocado association will be providing cultivators with trainings on when to harvest avocados, how to select good seeds for planting, and using proper methods to grow the best quality avocados for the domestic and foreign markets.

The avocado tree can be planted in any region that is between 3,00 to 4,000 feet above sea level. There are two varieties of avocados available in Myanmar; domestic and foreign. Planting 100 domestic variety trees in an acre would cost around K800,000 while the foreign variety would cost about K1.5 million. Avocado trees have an average lifespan of 50 years and are cultivated the most in Mogok and PyinOoLwin, Mandalay Region. Nationwide, there are currently only 600 acres of avocado plantations combined.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

Individuals’ border trade totals nearly 40 mln USD in Myanmar in FY 2018-19

Related imageMyanmar’s border trade using Individual Trading Cards (ITCs) totaled over 59 billion kyats (39.3 million U.S. dollars) in the fiscal year 2018-2019 which ended in September, according to figures from MOC.

During the period, 163 ITCs were permitted by the ministry and its export value through border gates amounted to over 9.38 billion kyats (6.25 million U.S. dollars) while import value was 49.6 billion kyats (33.1 million U.S. dollars).

From Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019, Myawady border gate registered the highest trade using the ITCs with capital of 32 billion kyats (21.3 million U.S. dollars). Since FY 2012-2013, the ministry issued 1,687 ITCs and its total trade value amounted to over 169.2 billion kyats (112.8 million U.S. dollars), the ministry’s figures showed.

Source: Xinhua

New bridge boosts Thai-Myanmar ties

Related imageBilateral border trade between Thailand and Myanmar is expected to flourish after the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge becomes fully operational, starting from Oct 30. Niyom Wairatpanich, vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the bridge is vital to boost border trade between the two countries, increasing trade flow and logistics services through Mae Sot.

Thailand’s border trade with Myanmar totalled 193 billion baht last year, up 4.9% from a year before. Border trade through Mae Sot amounted to 80 billion baht in 2018. For the first eight months, Thailand-Myanmar trade accounted for 18.3% of total border trade volume, totalling 55.0 billion baht, a 4.27% decrease. Exports made up 47.1 billion baht, down 14.6%, with imports worth 7.88 billion, up 6.63%. The top five exports through Mae Sot were energy drinks, motorcycles, diesel oil, mobile phones with components, and dried betel nut, while the top five imports were corn, live cows and buffaloes, old slabs, and transformers.

With the new friendship bridge, the border trade value via Mae Sot is expected to top 100 billion baht in 2020. Exports from Thailand are likely to increase by more than 30% once the new bridge is open. Mae Sot contributes a major share — up to 60% — of total border trade between Thailand and Myanmar, followed by Mae Sai and Ranong-Kaw Thaung checkpoints.

Source: Bangkok Post

Mung bean prices recover on back of China demand

Image result for mung beansRecent demand from China has stopped the fall in price of mung beans, which had spiralled downwards after India suspended purchases, and the trade of mung beans is picking up again in Mandalay, said traders.

At the moment, traders who have stored mung beans are selling their stocks in the market. These days, the price of mung beans has risen again due to demand from China. The price of mung beans plunged from K75,000 for three baskets in January, when India began buying mung beans as part of its agreement to purchase 150,000 tons, to K68,000 in August, when India stopped purchases, according to traders.

This year, India had announced that it would import 150,000 tons of mung beans and 200,000 tons of pigeon peas. Although Myanmar’s mung bean production has declined this year, the country could have produced over 300,000 tons of mung beans.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar 

Myanmar rubber exports surpass target for current fiscal; touch $250 mln

Related imageMyanmar exported over 190,000 tons of rubber, worth around US$250 million, to its trade partners in the past 11 months, surpassing the targeted volume of 170,000 tons for the current fiscal year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.

The increase in earnings in the current fiscal was pegged at $60 million. About 150,000 tons of rubber was shipped to foreign markets in the 2017-2018FY, and Myanmar had raised its export target to 170,000 tons for the 2018-2019 FY. The target was increased because the production acreage increased up to 800,000 this year. According to the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA), there are over 1.63 million acres of rubber plantations across the country, of which, latex is produced on 700,000 acres last year.

China accounts for 70 per cent of Myanmar’s rubber exports. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, South Korea, India, and Japan also purchase rubber from Myanmar. At present, rubber prices are ranging between US$1,500 and $1,700 per ton, depending on the rubber variety (Ribbed Smoked Sheets, or RSS, 1,2,3, 4, and 5). Rubber prices can vary depending on the dollar rate, global crude oil prices, and the global political climate.

All stakeholders in the rubber supply chain are making concerted efforts to produce profitable quality rubber. The MRPPA has also called for rubber zones in the producing regions and states, in addition to main producer Mon State. At present, the rubber law is still being drafted. The government and rubber associations are endeavouring to set up a central rubber market after the rubber law comes into effect. Rubber is primarily grown in Mon and Kayin states and Yangon, Bago, and Taninthayi regions.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar 

Illegal import through border threatens existence of small, medium enterprises

Image result for illicit tradeMyanmar has exposed illegal import worth of 12.99 billion kyats (8.65 million U.S. dollars) from September 2018 to July 2019, according to the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) Sunday. The exposure was made following the formation of Illegal Trade Control and Prevention Groups by the PSDC, led by Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe.

Illegal import through the border was threatening the existence of small and medium enterprises. In order to increase cooperation between union level departments to reduce the rising global illicit trade environment index due to illegal trade, the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee was also formed to effectively eradicate such illegal trade countrywide.

As of Aug. 9 during 2018-19 fiscal year, Myanmar’s trade volume reached 30.04 billion U.S. dollars, in which the private sector shared 25.1 billion U.S. dollars or 84 percent. As of the end of July 2019, 1,779 foreign investments worth of 81.25 billion U.S. dollars poured into Myanmar, while 1,605 local investments injected 19.05 trillion kyats (12.69 billion U.S. dollars) into the country.

Source: Xinhua

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