Re-export sugar licences with China suspended: govt

Issuance of re-export sugar licences with China have been suspended, according to U Aung Htoo, deputy commerce minister on September 27. This recent measure comes in light to solve the problem of currency manipulation. However, he added that it’s a temporary decision and will be reconsidered if businesses and foreign currency stabilises.

In face of this decision, China has stopped buying sugar from Myanmar for a full month. Initially, a bilateral official route trade for rice, sugar and maize was discussed at the end of May, but was cancelled abrupted by the Chinese central government.

“That is the normal play, when they [China] aren’t satisfied with the political issues with Myanmar; they make restrictions to our trade-items,” U Win Htay, the former commerce minister, said.

Currently, a 20-kilogramme bag of sugar has a price tag of 165 yuan, which is significantly higher than the previous years. But for some businesses, Ministry of Commerce’s suspension for re-export doesn’t pose trouble for sugar traders due to the decline of foreign currency and virtually no demand from China.

The re-export licenses issuances started in 2015 to promote local trade volume, but it was suspended for piling up re-export sugar in the local market last year.

Experts from the sugar industry point out that re-export licenses shouldn’t be issued in the local sugar crushing season.

“Re-export licenses re-started in this June, and halted again in August. So the export volume isn’t much,” U Win Htay added.

Re-export refined sugar was US$399 million, at the same time, export of local sugar was around US$3.646 million in September 2018, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Source: Myanmar Times

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