As demand falters, corn traders seek new markets

Corn traders are actively looking for new markets in Asia to export corn, said U Min Khaing, chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association.

Traders are aiming to expand exports to Vietnam, the Philippines and India. Come June, representatives from the association will visit China to promote corn produced in Shan State.

“We will also go to the Thailand to discuss the corn trade. Actually, we have already agreed to export corn to Thailand but are now still waiting for official permission from the Thai government,” said U Min Khaing.

Discussions on the right strategy to expand the export market for corn took place the association’s new office and come after China suspended corn imports from Myanmar last year, causing prices to plunge and corn traders to divert mounting stockpiles at home to neighbouring Thailand.

However, high import tariffs are proving to be a major challenge for traders. Under a bilateral agreement between Thailand and Myanmar, corn exports had been exempted from tax between February and August, 2019.

During October-November in the current financial year, Myanmar shipped more than 100,000 tonnes of corn to other countries compared to 200,000 tonnes in the year-ago period.

During fiscal 2018-19, Myanmar exported 1.5 million tonnes of corn worth US$270 million compared to 1.1 million tonnes worth US$300 million in fiscal 2015-16.

There are more than 1.9 million acres of corn plantations in Myanmar, primarily in Sagaing and Magway regions, and Chin, Kayin, Shan, and Kayah states. The current corn price is K480 to K495 per viss.

Source: Myanmar Times

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