September 14, 2022
The domestic corn market is experiencing a gradual price rise, according to the Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Bayintnaung Commodity Wholesale Centre).
The price stayed below K900 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) as of the second week of August 2022. On 13 September, the price slightly rose to K1,080-K1,100 per viss.
Despite the rise in corn prices, export earnings have to be exchanged according to the reference rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar. Accordingly, corn exports fell amid the CBM’s intervention in the foreign exchange market, traders stressed.
At present, the CBM’s reference exchange rate for a US dollar is set at K2,100, indicating a large gap compared with the market price of K3,300 in the grey market.
Transactions for the exports of agricultural produces including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat cross currency swap in border transactions like the dollar payment method practised in trade by sea, according to the directive released on 30 June.
Thailand gives green light to corn imports under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn imports to protect the rights of their growers if the corn is imported during the corn season of Thailand. The tax exemption period for corn has expired.
Out of the companies that have submitted the Expression of Interests, 86 have been forwarded to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) to seek permits for official corn exports to China.
Those companies are left to receive a registration code at the final stage, said U Aye Chan Aung, chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association.
Upon issuing the registration code this month, the corn export to China is expected to commence in September, the association expected.
Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 financial year. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and the remaining went to China, India and Viet Nam.
At present, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons—winter, summer and monsoon. The country produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn every year. – NN/GNLM