MYANMAR’S exports to China via the Lwejel border checkpoint over the past nine months of the current fiscal have declined by 38.37 per cent compared to the same period in the previous FY, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The drop in exports is linked to a decline in Myanmar’s exports of rice, broken rice, and maize to China. The export volume is expected to rise if the Chinese authorities increase Myanmar’s rice export quota and reduce the current import duties on broken rice and maize, said border merchants. From 1 October to 28 June in the current FY, the bilateral border trade between Myanmar and China via the Lwejel gate totalled US$133.6 million, with exports touching $119.4 million and imports crossing $14.2 million. Compared with the corresponding period of the 2017- 2018FY, exports have declined by $74.35 million, while imports have risen by $4.7 million.
Myanmar conducts border trade with China mainly through Muse, Lwejel, Chinshwehaw, Kanpikete, and Kengtung. Of the gates, Muse sees the largest volume and value in terms of border trade.
Between October and June, trade at Muse gate reached $3.8 billion. The Lwejel border trade camp was opened in August, 1998. Goods are delivered via the 57- mile Bhamo-Momauk-Lwejel route. At present, the 47-mile Momauk-Lwejel stretch is badly damaged on account of the movement of cargo trucks and is in need of repair, according to local merchants. According to the Commerce Ministry’s official statistical report, as on 28 June, the value of trade across all border points exceeded $8 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion in comparison with last FY. Myanmar predominantly exports agricultural, fishery, and forest products, minerals, and manufactured goods. It imports capital goods, consumer goods, semi-finished products, and CMP raw materials. —Swe Nyein (Translated by KTL)