Myanmar pulses unaffected by India’s import restriction: industry

India’s Department of Commerce, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has released a trade policy statement, on August 30, stating that as per the foreign trade policy, import of peas classified under Exim Code including yellow peas, green peas, dun peas and Kaspa peas is “restricted” until the end of September.

However, this will not be affecting Myanmar as yellow peas and green peas are not major exports of the country, Myanmar Pulses, Beans & Sesame Seeds Merchants Association Secretary U Min Ko Oo explained.

“We import those peas and produce locally, mostly for domestic consumptions. As the amount of production is not sufficient for a sizeable export business, the policy has no impact on this country,” he added.

Last June, quotas were specified by the Indian government for beans at 150,000 tonnes of mung bean, 150,000 tonnes of green gram and 200,000 tonnes of pigeon peas.

Among them, 150,000 tonnes of mung bean are imported from Myanmar. Meanwhile, there are some exports of chickpeas from Myanmar.

“For 150,000 tonnes of mung bean which they allowed, cultivation dropped this year but the production was about 400,000 tonnes. So, after combining with last year’s stock, the total was 450,000 tonnes. Even after exporting 150,000 tonnes, 300,000 tonnes will remain.

As supply-and-demand is not balanced, prices are falling in the local markets. With such difficulties, there are no benefits for farmers nor traders. Foreign currency revenue is very low,” U Min Ko Oo said.

Under current circumstances, government-to-government negotiations led by Nay Pyi Taw’s commerce ministry are being conducted to get assurance from India, he said.

Guarantee means concrete figure in tonnes of yearly purchase and the procedure to trade a certain amount of tonnes after signing the contract but there hasn’t been any response from the Indian Government, the secretary said.

“We have already urged for the first time not to grow pigeon peas across the country if uncertainties continue for lack of response. They will open if they need and if they don’t need, they will close and in the long run, there will be no benefits for our farmers,” he said.

Discussions are underway on whether if it is suitable to grow mung bean or not, as the mung season is approaching within two months from now. If growing mung bean and pigeon pea, which Myanmar has to keep a lookout on India, will not be convenient, only a minimum amount will be planted.

As the Indian government keeps changing its policies annually, it causes uncertainties in the market and warning has been made domestically to halt if things are uncertain.

Remaining bean stocks of Myanmar are being exported to Bangladesh and Pakistan. As pulse prices increased by a small margin a few days ago, the remaining bean stock will be reduced, according to Myanmar Pulses, Beans & Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.

Source: Myanmar Times

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