Corn wholesale centres to be set up near Thai border

Corn traders will be collaborating to set up collection centres in Myawaddy, Kayin State, near the Thai border to facilitate exports of the crop, say industry officials.

The collection centres, expected to be up and running within the next few months, are expected to help boost sales of corn to Thailand, said U Min Khine, chair of the Myanmar Corn Association.

“We realised having such centres would be better after Myanmar began exporting more corn to Thailand last year. As there were no central collection points for corn crops, prices were being dictated by buyers making deals wherever they could.

A centre that serves as a location for corn to be gathered would allow local growers and traders to set standardised prices that would benefit farmers,” U Min Khine said.

The project is being overseen by a five-member committee after the association held a meeting about the matter on Monday.

“About 60 traders from northern and southern Shan State, Kayah State, Mandalay Region, Magwe Region, Ayeyarwady Region, Myawaddy-based traders have agreed to participate in the project. The government is also supportive of the project us. At present, two locations have been earmarked for such centres,” he said.

Although much of Myanmar’s corn is exported to China, the demand from Thailand has been increasing significantly. Total exports to Thailand have reached an average of 100,000 tonnes recently, and could grow to as much as 600,000 tonnes, merchants say.

Currently, 15 kilogrammes of Myanmar corn costs around 108 baht (K4,860) compared with 98 baht last year. Despite the rising prices, not much profit is gained as the kyat has been strengthening against the US dollar and the baht, said the merchants.

“We are also planning to open a commodity brokerage in Kayah State as well; especially to shorten the transportion route for corn merchants in southern Shan State and to reduce transportation costs,” he said.

Currently, the government is working to draft a national policy to develop corn that will hopefully lead to the manufacturing of more value-added corn products locally and also attract more investments in corn growing.

A national forum on corn production is expected to held in Nay Pyi Taw, although a date for the event has not yet been finalised

ational Corn Development Policy for manufacturing of value-added corn products and to attract investments. National Corn Forum is to be held in Nay Pay Taw and works are done to stabilize local porn market and to solidify foreign market as well.

“China has also contacted this month to purchase as well and we are exporting if the price arrangement is good,” he said.

Myanmar’s farmers plant corn on roughly 550,000 hectares land, and last year produced yields of nearly 2.3 million tonnes.

Source: Myanmar Times

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