The Philippines has offered to buy rice from Myanmar through a government-to-government channel, following the fall of rice prices in Myanmar as Chinese demand slows, according to media reports. The recent depreciation of the yuan has weakened the competitiveness of Myanmar’s rice in the Chinese market, decreasing demand for Myanmar rice in China…ECNS.cn July 2016

Key Point

  • Recently, relations between China and Myanmar’s new government hav been characterized as inadequate.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, Myanmar rice traders expected rice exports to China to increase following the country’s Thingyan Water Festival (aka Burmese New Year).
  • 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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