Switzerland to Buy Myanmar Coffee as Industry Explores New Markets for Quality Beans

Myanmar will send 18 tons of medium-grade coffee to Switzerland this month, the latest ship­ment to one of several far-flung richer countries that are seen as vital to sustaining the nascent in­dustry.

It will be the second 18 ton shipment to the coun­try, following a batch that was sent last year, the My­anmar Coffee Association said.

As Myanmar looks to boost the quality of its coffee exports, industry leaders see limited poten­tial in neighbouring mar­kets like Thailand, and have instead began woo­ing buyers from Europe and the US.

“We will ship the cof­fee to Switzerland before end of April,” said U Min Hlaing, secretary of the Myanmar Coffee Associa­tion. The announcement comes after a delegation from Switzerland came on a trip to Myanmar to test the quality of the coffee, he added.

The Mandalay Myan­mar Coffee Group is sell­ing the batch to an undis­closed buyer or buyers in Switzerland.

Since economic liber­alisation Myanmar entre­preneurs have seen op­portunity in cultivating higher quality beans to penetrate the global mar­ket. But exporters have struggled because prices for quality Arabica beans from Myanmar are gen­erally higher than from other countries.

“Myanmar coffee grabbed the interest of in­ternational coffee drink­ers in early 2016, but the industry is still negotiat­ing for better prices,” said U Ye Myint, chairman of the Myanmar Coffee As­sociation.

The American market is among those showing interest in higher grade Myanmar coffee. Last year, Myanmar exported 36 tons to the US at $7 per kilo.

Other major buyers in­clude Japan and Taiwan, but Myanmar’s closer Asian neighbours have shown less interest.

But Myanmar did re­cently export a batch of coffee worth $22,960 to Thailand, according to border trade statis­tics from the Ministry of Commerce.


Source: Myanmar Business Today

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