Sugar export licences to be suspended on lack of demand

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) last month suspended 103 licenses to re-export sugar due to a lack of demand from China, said U Win Htay, deputy chair of the Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Related Products Merchant & Manufacturers Association.

Out of 103 companies, 49 companies will have their trading registrations suspended for three months, while the remaining 54 companies, which have not been exporting will have their licenses suspended for up to six months.

After an appeal was made by the Export Import Commercial Committee, the companies affected were allowed to continue operations until March 31. Checks will be subsequently conducted and the suspension enforced on those found without any export demand, the MOC said.

Sugar trading companies have been unable to re-export sugar in recent months due to higher security measures at the Myanmar-China border, U Win Htay said. Many traders in Myanmar import and re-export sugar to China.

The government in 2015 permitted the import of commodities such as sugar and diesel from Thailand and India for the purpose of re-exporting to meet high demand and boost local export income.

Importing sugar also results in large quantities of foreign exchange (forex) leaving the country. Yet, the corresponding inflow of forex upon re-export does not match the outflow. Last year, this contributed to the depreciation of the Myanmar kyat versus the US dollar.

Last August, the MOC also temporarily suspended re-exports of sugar in a successful bid to stabilise the falling kyat.

Source: Myanmar Times

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