Myanmar records import plunge in capital goods in past mini-budget period

April 20,2022

ACCORDING to the construction market, the depreciation of the Kyat against the US dollar and a slowdown in the construction market dealt a blow to the import of capital goods. 

Between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022 of the past six-month mini-budget period, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines and steel, with an estimated import value of $1.49 billion, were imported into the country. This figure was tremendously down by $2.78 billion compared to the same corresponding period of the last financial year 2020-2021.
Additionally, the COVID-19 negative consequences shut down some foreign investment enterprises and the condominium property market relying on foreign expatriates plunged by 70 per cent. As a result, the realtors are forced to reduce the rents. The rental market continued a downward spiral amidst the COVID-19 consequences and political changes. The occupancy is drastically declining, a realtor from Yangon elaborated. 

However, the real estate market sees an upturn in house and land prices as some investors believe it is a haven asset during difficult times. 

As Kyat depreciates on the US dollar, the construction costs have risen. Consequently, the developers are facing supply chain issues. 

The construction sector imports steel, cement, electronic appliances, machinery, etc. 

Meanwhile, three other import groups saw an increase. Myanmar imported consumer products worth over $1.74 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight increase of 125.5 million against the year-ago period. 

Intermediate goods make up the largest share of Myanmar’s imports, with the main imports of petroleum products and plastic raw materials. This year, imports of raw materials soared to $3.573 billion from $2.57 billion registered during the year-ago period. 

During the same period, raw materials worth over $1.14 billion were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a rise of $329 million compared with the last financial year. 

The top 10 import countries to Myanmar are China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Viet Nam, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US, as per data of the Ministry of Commerce. — KK/GNLM