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MMRD BULLETIN
July 7, 2020

NEWS
TRADING

Maritime trade up $2.27 bln in 2019-20FY

 

The value of Myanmar’s maritime trade for the period between 1 October and 20 March in the 2019-2020 fiscal year totalled US$13.49 billion, an increase of over $2.27 billion compared to the year-ago period, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

While maritime exports were valued at $5.23 billion, imports were registered at $8.25 billion. Compared to the same period in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, imports were higher by $1.34 billion, while exports registered an increase of $932 million. Meanwhile, the value of trade through the border crossings was estimated at $5.19 billion, an increase of $501.37 million.

The country’s total external trade reached $18.68 billion, which was higher than the $15.9 billion recorded in the year-ago period.
Myanmar exports agricultural products, fishery products, minerals, livestock, forest products, finished industrial goods, and other products, while it imports capital goods, consumer goods, and raw industrial materials.

The country currently has nine ports involved in sea trade. Yangon Port is the main gateway for Myanmar’s maritime trade and includes the Yangon inner terminals and the outer Thilawa Port.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Htikhee border trade falls by $237.78 mln

 

Bilateral trade between Thailand and Myanmar through the Htikhee border between 1 October and 20 March in the 2019-2020 financial years sharply fell to US$973.28 million from $1.2 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to the Commerce Ministry
data.

Over the five months period, exports through the Htikhee border stood at $959.16 million, while imports fell short of $14 million. Exports of natural gas from Taninthayi Region contributed to the enormous increase in trade through the Htikhee border in the 2018-2019 fiscal.

The Myawady border sees the largest trade among the Myanmar-Thailand checkpoints. The rise in exports through the Htikhee border boosted the value of the Myanmar-Thailand border trade in the 2018-2019FY. In the 2019-2020 fiscal, trade values at Htikhee border surpassed those registered at Myawady border.

Trade values stood at $$68.58 million at Tachilek gate, $589.34 at Myawady, $199 million at Kawthoung, $93.886 million at Myeik, $973.28 million at Htikhee, $12.6 million at Myawady and $2.53 million at Maesei respectively.

Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, and consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighboring country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Thai-Myanmar trade hit by border closures

A file image of a border crossing on the Myanmar-Thai border. Chan Mya Htwe/The Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s trade with its ASEAN neighbour Thailand cannot help but be affected by the closure of crossing points along the countries shared border.

Thailand has closed several gates along the Thai-Myanmar border to goods and people and will allow only goods through two crossing points as part of efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Thailand also closed the Tachileik, Htee Khee, and Mawtaung border gates to both people and goods on 23 March. The entry of people, goods and vehicles at the permanent and temporary crossing points in Ya Naung District will also be suspended until the situation returns to normal.

Although Thailand closed Tachileik gate, goods can still go through Myawaddy gate. Trade is not completely halted but there will be effects as the flow of goods is now restricted. It is still too early to say what the overall effects will be.

Myanmar’s main export through Myawaddy is maize and some US$1.5 million of the crop is sent to Thailand annually. Thai-Myanmar border trade is conducted mainly through the Myawaddy, Tachileik, Kawthaung, Myeik, Htee Khee, Maw Taung and Maese border trade areas.

2019-2020 fiscal year, trade volume via the Myawaddy border trade area has reached a total US$555.32 million, with exports reaching US$167.88 million and imports US$387.44 million.

Tachileik saw trade worth US$63 million, Kawthaung US$171 million, with US$145million ub exports.  Myeik saw US$90million, with US$35million in exports and US$55 million in imports.  Htee Khee saw US$882million – with US$868 million in exports and US$14 million in imports. Maw Taung saw trade volumes of US$11million, while Maese saw slightly more than US $2 million.

Source: Myanmar Times

India to import 400,000 tonnes of mung bean from Myanmar in 2020-21FY

India government has granted permission to import 400,000 tonnes of mung bean from Myanmar in the next fiscal of 2020-2021.

In 2019-2020 FY, India announced that they would need an import quota of 150,000 tonnes of mung beans. At the end of December 2019, India wanted Myanmar to export 250,000 tonnes by 31 March. India usually buys mung beans, pigeon peas, green grams, and yellow peas on a quota basis. But this time, India announced the permission to import 400,000 tonnes of mung beans only.

With permission to import 400,000 tonnes of mung beans in the next fiscal, it is likely that there will emerge a good beans market for the local farmers in the next beans season. After the announcements, the mung bean price goes up for a reasonable percentage in the market. Now, the price of the mung bean is K950,000 per tonne.

Myanmar embassy in New Delhi, India announced that India granted to import 400,000 tonnes of mung beans from Myanmar in 2020-2021FY, which have been restricted as import commodity since 2017 by the Indian central government according to 2015-2020 foreign trade policy.

On 17 March 2020, the India Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that this restriction is not really concerned with the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Additionally, India has permitted to import 250,000 tonnes of mung beans from Myanmar, extended its deadline to the end of April for 2019-2020 FY, under the permission of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on 3 March.

On 19 March, the directorate also announced that the import of 400,000 tonnes of mung beans, allowed for the 2020-2021FY, will be undertaken from 1 May 2020 to 31 March 2021. The local bean mills and bean cleansing businessmen are required to apply for the quota through the directorate Website from 20 to 31 March. The beans exporting companies have to export paper writing help the beans to India not later than 31 March 2021 as there will no longer be an extension of the import of the mung beans. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Japanese company to purchase 1,200 tons of Seintalone mangoes

A Japanese company named YUKIOK Myanmar Co. Ltd has been signing contracts to buy 1,200 tons of Seintalone from mango growers in this season.

The YUKIOK Myanmar Co. Ltd has met with the mango-growing farmers across the country and signed contracts to purchase the mangoes, which will yield in the season of this 2019-2020 year.

The company will set the price depending on the size of the Seintalone mango. They have offered to sell the mangoes of 200 gm to 250 gm for K 450,000, 251 gm to 300 gm for K 480,000, 301 gm to 380 gm for K 630,000, 381 gm to 450 gm for K 810,000 and above 451 gm for K 900,000.

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This year, the mango growers do not need to put the mangoes in the plastic bags, which will cut the labour charges and cost of plastic bags. Myanmar mangoes are primarily shipped to China. So, mango growers are now preparing to export mangoes to China market as well.

The mango growers need to grasp their opportunities by doing the right way. It can be of benefit to the Myanmar mango market. Now, the Japanese company offered to purchase the mangoes and the local mango growers should sell only the quality fruits. If their fruits are not export-quality ones.

In Myanmar mango market, Seintalone, Shwe Hin Thar, Yin Gwe and Padamyar Nga Mauk are highly demanded from foreign countries. Mango plantations cover 250,000 acres of land across Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar-Bangladesh trade up $289 mln

The value of border trade between Myanmar and Bangladesh, as of 6 March in the 2019-2020FY, reached US$298.3 million, an increase of $289.18 million compared with the same period in the previous fiscal, according to monthly data issued by the Ministry of Commerce.

Compared with the 2018-2019FY, border exports between the two countries increased to $10.732 million in the current fiscal, whereas border imports were valued at $278.445 million. This FY, Myanmar exported goods worth $19.62 million to Bangladesh and imported goods valued at over $278.7 million.

Border trade between the two countries is conducted through the Sittway and Maungtaw camps. Between 1 October and 6 March in the current FY, trade through the Maungtaw gate reached $8.004 million, while trade at the Sittway border checkpoint was valued at $290.311 million.

Goods traded at the Myanmar-Bangladesh border include bamboos, ginger, peanuts, saltwater prawns and fish, dried plums, garlic, rice, mung beans, blankets, candy, plum jams, footwear, frozen foods, chemicals, leather, jute products, tobacco, plastics, wood, knitwear, and beverages.

According to the ministry’s annual statistical data, Myanmar’s total border trade with Bangladesh exceeded $23.2 million in the 2018-2019FY. The bilateral border trade was pegged at $263 million in the 2018 mini budget period, $29 million in the 2017-2018FY, $10.6 million in the 2016-2017FY, $11.5 million in the 2015-2016FY, $14.3 million in the 2014-2015FY, $22.8 million in the 2013-2014FY, and $3.83 million in the 2012-2013FY. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Kachin State Inks Border Business Park Deal With China-Myanmar Joint Venture

The Kachin State Government and Myanmar Heng Ya Investment Development Co. Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding for developing the Kampaiti Business Park.

U Wei Lin, Kachin State Minister for Finance, Revenue, Planning and Commerce spoke about implementing the business park project in line with the existing law. He also discussed matters related to job creation, trade promotion at Kampaiti gate, cooperation to combat illegal trade, and business opportunities for local people.

The Kampaiti gate is one of the border checkpoints between Myanmar and China. A proposal to upgrade the border gate was approved by the Kachin State government at the second state meeting’s 18th regular session. The Myanmar Heng Ya Development Company is a joint venture between Kampaiti Development Company and the Yunnan-Teng Yin Trading Company.

At an estimated cost of US$22.4 million (31.85 billion kyats), the Kanpiketi Business Park will cover nearly 70 acres (28 hectares) in the border town in northern Kachin State’s Special Region 1. The area is controlled by the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDAK) militia, which is allied with the Myanmar military.

The business park project includes plans to construct a South Asia-Southeast Asia Culture Park (Zone A) on 12.65 acres, two Trade and Logistics Zones (Zones B and D) on 8.8 acres and 12.7 acres, a Border Inspection Gate (Zone C) on 5.1 acres and a Business Shop (Zone E) on 1.65 acres.

The joint venture company will implement Zone C first. It will include a border inspection gate, government staff housing, a waiting area and related facilities. The company plans to invite other investors to construct the other zones.

Between 1 October and 21 February of the current financial year, Sino-Myanmar trade at Kampaiti gate soared to US$141.24 million from $73.97 million in the year-ago period, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry.

Source: The Irrawaddy News Magazine

 

Chinese investment enquires in Myanmar impacted by COVID-19

Enquiries on Myanmar by Chinese investors have fallen in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak which has infected 78,064 in China and caused the death of 2,715, mostly in the central province of Hubei.

While enquiries and activity by existing Chinese investors in Myanmar are still ongoing, some industries have already taken a hit and many are bracing for further disruptions.

The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association fears that half the garment factories in the country may have to shut down temporarily as soon as March, due to a shortage of raw materials from China as a result of the virus.

Fitch Solutions Macro Research this month lowered its forecast for Myanmar’s real GDP growth for the financial year 2019-20 to 6.3pc from 6.5pc, down from an actual 6.8pc in 2018-19. It expects the slowdown in tourism activity to account for most of the impact as Chinese nationals accounted for nearly a third of over two million foreign tourists last year.

This year’s Yangon Investment Forum has also been postponed from the end of this month. No date has been set. Myanmar has received about US$ 2.8 billion worth of foreign direct  investments this fiscal year, mainly by a Hong Kong power production firm.

Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar-Thai border trade set to continue growing in 2020

Vehicles pass around the gate of Myawaddy border trade zone near Mae Sot, Thailand. Photo - EPA

Border trade between Thailand and Myanmar is set to increase this year thanks to the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and the implementation of Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA).

The second Thai- Myanmar Friendship bridge connecting Myawady in Myanmar and Mae Sot in Thailand opened in October of 2019.

Meanwhile, the CBTA, which also came into effect and authorises goods vehicles from each country to cross the border and stay for 30 days.

Trade volume between Myanmar and Thailand in fiscal year2018-19 hit a total of US$5.4 billion (K7.7 trillion) in total. According to the ministry, Myanmar’s exports to Thailand reached US$3.2 billion while imports hit US$2.1 billion.

Among three trade points along the border between Myanmar and Thailand, Myawady-Mae Sot route is the most important, carrying around 70 percent of trade between the countries.

Under the cross-border transportation agreement, vehicles from Myanmar will stop at Mae Sot for customs inspections and continue to the port city of Laem Chabang, Thailand where goods can be loaded and unloaded. Similarly, Thai vehicles will be able to gain access to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce statistics already show that trade through the Myawady-Mae Sot route in the last four months of fiscal year 2019-20 had risen to US$330 million compared with US$260 million in the same period a year ago.

Myanmar’s exports to Thailand were primarily agriculture and livestock products, and imports from Thailand were mainly non-alcoholic beverages, fabric and yarn, motorcycles and related parts, and construction material. Thailand is Myanmar’s second-largest trade partner and third-largest foreign investor.

Source: Myanmar Times

‘EU to continue engaging with Myanmar under EBA trade-preference initiative’

A file photo of a garment worker in Southeast Asia. The EU says it will continue engaging with developing countries, including Myanmar, under its trade preferences initiatives. Photo - EPA

The European Union (EU) will continue to engage with countries, including Myanmar, that fall under its Everything But Arms (EBA) trade initiative.

EBA is an initiative under which all imports to the EU from the Least Developed Countries are duty-free and quota-free, with the exception of armaments. The initiative is part of the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) aimed at encouraging development of the world’s poorest countries.

Separately, the EU released a report titled “EU Enhanced Engagement with three Everything But Arms beneficiary countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar”. The report, for the period 2016 to 2017, covered the EU’s engagement with the beneficiary countries.

EU Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Kristian Schmidt said “Around the world, the EU’s trade is a crucial tool to improve human rights, labour rights and good governance. Through the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences, we help developing countries grow in a sustainable manner. Also in Myanmar, EBA preferential trade tariffs have helped to lift thousands out of poverty and reduce inequalities. Since 2015, Myanmar’s exports to the EU have grown by over 230 percent.

Myanmar’s main exports to the EU under the EBA are apparel and clothing. Myanmar increased its exports to the EU 10-fold since it was granted EBA preferences in 2013.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Thae Oo Myintzu
MMRD Insight—Editor
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