Myanmar corn export exceeds $392 million in seven months

July 13

Myanmar’s corn exports to foreign countries generated revenue of more than US$392 million in the seven months (October-April) of the current financial year 2020-2021, Myanmar Customs Department’s statistics showed. The prices of Myanmar’s corn are climbing up in the Mandalay market on the back of strong demand by Thailand, coupled with the growing demand in the domestic market, traders from Mandalay depot said.

Before Thingyan Festival in April, the corn fetched only K28,000 per three-basket bag. Both the foreign demand and domestic demand prompted the sellers to raise the prices starting from the first week of May. Following a gradual upward trend, the corn was priced above K32,900 per bag in early June and the price surged to K36,720 per bag in the second week of July, Soe Win Myint depot from Mandalay stated.

Myanmar has been delivering corns to the neighbouring countries Thailand and China via the land border. The shipment to Singapore, Malaysia and Viet Nam abruptly stopped owing to zero demand, he added. “The lack of demand by sea is attributed to the political changes and disruption in the logistic sector”, said U Min Khaing. At present, Myanmar is conveying corn to Thailand through the land border, with a tonne of corn fetching up to about 8,000 baht. Thailand gives green light to corn imports through Maesot under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August.

Thailand has granted tax exemption on corn imports between February and August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn import to protect the rights of their growers if the corn is imported during the corn season of Thailand, as per the notification of the World Trade Organization regarding corn import of Thailand, said a corn exporter. With the local corn consumption growing, Myanmar’s corn export to foreign markets is expected to reach 1.6 million tonnes this year, the association stated.

Myanmar is the second-largest exporter of corn among regional countries. At present, 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 yearly produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn. The corn crop is mostly demanded by the feedstuff processing business. This being so, it is a potential business for both domestic and external markets, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce.

During last FY 2019-2020 ended 30 September, the country exported 2.2 million tonnes of corns to the external market, with an estimated value of $360 million, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed.

As per data from the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar exported 1.5 million tonnes valued at $270 million in the 2018-2019FY, 1.4 million tonnes of corn worth over $290 million in the 2017-2018FY, 1.2 million tonnes of corn worth $250 million in the 2016-2017FY, and, 1.1 million tonnes of corn worth $300 million in the 2015-2016FY. — MM/GNLM