Corn price rebounds in domestic market

The price of corn rallied to K1,170-1,190 per viss in the do­mestic market as the FOB corn prices rise to US$290-310 per tonne, according to Yangon Re­gion Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Bayintnaung Com­modity Depot).


Myanmar conveys corn to China and Thailand through the border and also sent corn to China, India, Viet Nam and the Philippines by maritime shipping at present, according to the Myanmar Corn Industri­al Association.


China is purchasing Myan­mar’s corn through cross-bor­der trade under the opium sub­stitution program. Legitimate corn trade between Myanmar and China commenced at the end of 2022. A total of 112 companies have been given the green light for legitimate corn exports.


Thailand gives the go-ahead to corn imports under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn imports to protect the rights of their growers if the corn is import­ed during the corn season of Thailand. There is only over one month remaining to export Myanmar’s corn to Thailand under the Form D customs tariff benefit.


The directive released on 30 June 2022 said that trans­actions for the exports of ag­ricultural products including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars in­stead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat. Therefore, 65 per cent of ex­port earnings (US dollars) of the corn have to be exchanged according to the reference rate of the Central Bank of My­anmar (K2,100). The CBM eased the foreign currency conversion order to 50 per cent from 65 per cent for the exporters on 13 July 2023, according to its notification 15/2023.


At present, the CBM sets the reference exchange rate at K2,100 whereas the US dollar is transacted at K3,300 in the grey mar­ket, showing a large gap between the reference ex­change rate and the grey market rate.


Myanmar exported over 2 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade in the 2022 corn season. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and the remaining went to the Philippines, China, India and Viet Nam.


More than two million tonnes of corn are expect­ed to be shipped to foreign trade partners in the 2023 corn season, said U Min Khaing, chair of the Myan­mar Corn Industrial Asso­ciation.


The corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Manda­lay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons — win­ter, summer and monsoon. The country produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn every year. – NN/EM