Rice exports to China via Mandalay cease after frozen bank accounts

Since the bank accounts of some Myanmar rice merchants in China were frozen, monetary flow has become stagnant, and rice exported from Mandalay to China has stopped, according to local merchants.

Chinese authorities froze the bank accounts of Myanmar businesspeople in China yesterday, striking a heavy blow to Myanmar’s commodity flow to China.

“China has frozen Myanmar traders’ bank accounts. They include rice merchants as well as those trading in pulses and sugar. The local merchants have to open bank accounts in China because Chinese traders buy rice with Chinese yuan. Because of the frozen bank accounts, we’re having difficulty with money transfers, though rice has already been sold. Traders themselves dare not sell further,” said Sai Kyaw, general secretary of the Mandalay Region Rice Traders Association.

Most of local rice goes to China via the Mandalay-Muse border route. Due to the suspended sale to China, local rice prices are dropping, and most traders have stopped buying rice.

“We mainly send our rice to China. We used to sell 3,000 to 6,000 bags of rice per day. But now we have to stop selling. Local traders dare not export rice there. Despite decrease in rice prices, trading has ceased,” said Daw Tin Tin Khaing from San Pya Nwe Rice Wholesale in Mandalay.

Local merchants said if the Chinese market remains stagnant, not only rice but also other fruit and vegetable markets will face difficulty. Therefore, they said they wanted the concerned authorities to negotiate and address the issue.

Source : Eleven Myanmar