High Corn Prices Boost Sorghum Use in Myanmar


Oct 25, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minute

In MY2021/22, Burma’s wet season Corn production increased, especially in southern Shan State (in the Eastern part of country), Sagaing Region, and Kayah State due to favorable weather. The second (dry season crop) production in MY2021/22 was likely to decrease by about 10 percent, especially in irrigated areas, due to high fuel and fertilizer costs. Farmers typically use 100-250 kg/acre of fertilizer per acre during the second crop (dry season Corn).

The main producing areas for wet season Corn are Shan State, Kachin State, Kayah State, and Sagaing region. In contrast, the main producing area for dry season Corn is the Ayeyarwady region. Yields for MY2021/22 wet season Corn are likely to be good due to favorable rainfall, while yield for the second crop, which is only 12 percent of total production, will probably decline due to high fuel and fertilizer costs. Good quality seed and favorable weather should keep yields good in MY2021/22 and MY2022/23 despite high fuel and fertilizer costs. 

Rainfall, seed quality, and fertilizer are the main factors determining the yield. Wet-season crop often relies solely on rainfall. Farmers only harvest about 15-20 percent of Corn production with machines, while they thresh most of the Corn mechanically. Almost all Corn cultivated in Burma is from hybrid seed, primarily imported from Thailand. Major players in the Corn seed market are Charoen Pokphand (CP Group), Myama Awba Group, Aventine Limited, and Seven Tiger Group. 

Burmese Corn farmers plant more than 7,000-10,000 tons of seed annually and purchase the seed from local seed producers, seed importers, and a small amount from the Government. Government seed-producing farms only provide 7-8 percent of the total seed demand. 

The USDA forecasts Burma’s Corn production in MY2022/23 and MY2021/22 at 2.9 million tons due to high domestic prices, robust export demand from Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, India, and possibly China. High Corn prices encouraged some sweet Corn farmers to shift to seed Corn production. 

Burmese Corn Feed Consumption

The USFA forecasts local feed Corn demand in MY2022/23 at 400,000 tons, which is still below-average consumption. High domestic prices, reduced demand from the livestock sector, and higher usage of broken rice in feed production has reduced the consumption of feed Corn in Burma. The USDA estimates that domestic demand for livestock feed will decrease 40-50 percent in MY2022/23 with a decline in livestock production. Higher prices from increased costs for fuel and inputs, reduced purchasing power, and unstable electricity supply contributed to decreased domestic demand for meat and eggs. 

The price of Corn has increased by 45 percent from the previous year due to strong export demand from Thailand, the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. Due to the high Corn prices, some feed mills use more broken rice and sorghum in their feed formulation. In addition, breeding farms have reduced their day-old chick production due to the low domestic demand for poultry meat, the high input costs, and electrical problems. Feed millers require farmers to purchase feed with cash instead of on credit due to the unstable banking system. Some small and medium poultry farms have had to close, and only large farms that receive foreign direct investment and are vertically integrated can stay in operation. 

The Myanmar Livestock Federation reports that approximately 70 percent of the raw livestock feed demand comes from the poultry sector and 25 percent from the swine sector. Domestic Corn constitutes 35-45 percent of the total feed composition in the poultry sector, depending on the animal’s age, feed mill nutrition formula, feeding methods, and domestic prices.


Other sources:



Free & Unlimited Access In Time