India’s rice export ban turns boon for Myanmar

When India announced the ban on rice export of a certain kind, there was a lot of frenzy noticed at the B2B as well as B2C consumption centers. But for Myanmar, this news came as an opportunity to be grabbed and leveraged. The country’s rice exports are expected to increase in the upcoming months, especially when the prices in Thailand and Vietnam are forcing buyers to hunt for other origins.

“We hope to take advantage, even though we’ll maintain our focus on exporting only higher-quality varieties,”

Ye Min Aung, President of the Myanmar Rice Federation

He also said that the tightening in global supply should help Myanmar revive itself from the slumping rice shipments, which noticed a dump of 56% in the first four months of the fiscal year. The opportunity presents itself at a time when the country is eyeing an annual goal of earning USD 1 billion from its rice exports.

The data from the Myanmar Rice Federation said that the country exported about 320,000 tons from April to July, earning just USD 138 million, after the government decided to prioritize selling higher-grade rice. But when India – the top exporter globally – announced its rice ban to keep a lid on domestic prices ahead of a general election due early next year, the prices of rise rose in some of Myanmar’s regional competitors.

Considering that Myanmar’s export policy design is that of conserving domestic supplies, sales of better-quality grain can reap as much as USD 700 a ton compared to USD 300 or USD 400 a ton for lower grades, according to Ye Min Aung, it also limits customers to relatively wealthy countries.

Nonetheless, Myanmar has been ranked as the 6th biggest rice exporter in the world, with its major consumption partners being China, Belgium, and the Philippines.

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