Myanmar’s rice traders expected the country’s rice export to China to rise after water festival, official media reported Friday [8 April 2016]. Rice traders in Muse, Myanmar’s largest border trade zone located in northern Shan State, said new summer rice will enter the market after Thingyan Water Festival. Merchants are facing low demand as the rice price rises in local market. The price of rice for 20.9 kilograms has decreased to 20,000 kyats ($16) in Muse trade zone…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2016

Key Point

  • Myanmar’s (Burma) overland border exports primarily consist of agricultural goods and seafood, while its imports primarily consist of consumer goods (e.g. electronics and machinery).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2015, in the wake of severe flooding, Myanmar rice traders temporarily suspended Chinese exports for one and a half months in order to safeguard domestic supply. Shipments were expected to resume in mid-September 2015 after the monsoon paddy harvest.
  • In July 2015, according to the Joint Secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation, 59 Chinese rice traders were arrested for tax evasion in China, causing exports to slow. China reportedly accounts for half of Myanmar’s rice exports.
  • In March 2015, Myanmar’s Rice Federation selected nine rice milling companies to legally export rice to eastern China’s coastal ports. However, non-licensed rice exports will likely continue overland via Muse (northern Shan State, Myanmar) – Ruili (Yunnan Province) border crossing.
  • In 2014, China banned Burmese rice imports in order to institute new safety and quality control regulations. According to the Chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation, China will begin importing rice legally in January 2015 (i.e. at least 1 million MTs of Burmese rice at US$400 per MT).
  • During the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year, more than 60% of Myanmar’s border trade occurred via the Muse checkpoint with China.
  • From 2009 to 2013, China’s (incl. Hong and Macao) rice imports from Burma increased from 331 MTs to 7,067 MTs. These figures do not include informal or illegal trade across the border.

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