August 17, 2022
Corn prices bounced back after one month of decline. Only two weeks are remaining to export the corn to Thailand under zero tariff (with Form-D).
Corn price stayed under K900 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) between the third week of July and 15 August. On 16 August, the price increased to K900-920 per viss again.
However, the current market price has not reached a record high of over K1,100 per viss in early June, corn traders said.
The price rise is attributed to the Kyat depreciation against the US dollar in the local forex market. The Central Bank of Myanmar raised the reference exchange rate from K1,850 to K2,100 on 5 August.
The directive released on 30 June stated that transactions for the exports of agricultural produce including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat cross-currency settlement in border transactions.
The foreign currency earnings have to be converted to the local currency according to the reference rate of the CBM.
As a result of this, there is a large gap between the regulated rate and the unauthorized rate, while a US dollar is worth around K2,900 in the grey market. This action affected exports of agricultural produce, so export has fallen, traders stressed.
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.
Therefore, about two weeks are remaining for corn exports under Form D exemption.
Myanmar conveyed 1.7 million tonnes of corn to Thailand in the 2020-2021 financial year. In the 2021-2022 corn season, the country targets to export 1.5 million tonnes of corn, according to the association.
Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 corn season. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and corn was also delivered to China, India and Viet Nam, the association’s data indicated.
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