Myanmar Rice Exports Gain Success in Sri Lanka With Higher Price


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In Myanmar, Rice is the most cultivated crop, followed by beans and pulses. Rice production accounts for approximately 43% of the total agricultural output in the country, making it the seventh largest producer of Rice in the world. The Burmese Department of Agriculture forecasts farmers to cultivate 6.07 million hectares of main crop Rice in the marketing year 2022/23.

 Among the ecological zones, the delta region is the largest cultivated area in both seasons. The highest yield is in the dry zone during the monsoon season and the delta in the summer season. Coastal areas are the lowest production among the regions. Ayeyawady, Bago, and Yangon regions make up almost half of the country’s harvested Rice area. 

 According to the Myanmar Rice Federation, Myanmar exported about 322,650 tons of Rice and 227,890 tons of broken Rice in the first three months of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

In June only, the country exported 83,926 metric tons of Rice and 62,168 metric tons of broken Rice to countries including China, the Philippines, Belgium, and France. It shipped 125,374 metric tons of Rice and Broken Rice via sea routes, while it exported only 20,720 metric tons of Rice and Broken Rice via land border gates. 

 The main destinations are China, Japan, the European Union countries, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, African countries, and Middle Eastern countries. Myanmar generated an income of USD 700 million from 2 million tons of Rice exports to foreign countries in the 2020-2021 Marketing Year.

 According to the Nation’s Rice federation, Myanmar set a goal of doubling Rice exports in three years by focusing on higher-quality varieties. The country plans to ship as much as 4 million tons annually by 2025, having earnings almost doubled to USD 1.5 billion. 

Sri Lanka – A Profitable Destination for Myanmar Rice

Sri Lanka is buying Rice from the country at a price higher than what others are paying for it. Myanmar Rice export to Sri Lanka is a very profitable business, and exporting Rice from Myanmar by sea is easy.  

“We sell Rice to other countries at USD 340-350 per ton, but to Sri Lanka, we can sell at USD 440-450 per ton,” said U Than Oo, Secretary of the Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Depot-BRWD. While Myanmar has been fetching over USD 100 per ton above the price paid by other countries, the Sri Lankan authorities did not impose any restrictions on importing Myanmar Rice. 

Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on January 7 to import 100,000 tons of white Rice and 50,000 tons of brown Rice this year and the next. Due to this agreement, Sri Lanka would be spending USD 15 million extra on Rice imports. According to a Sri Lankan Commerce ministry statement, while Myanmar quoted USD 465 per metric ton, the Sri Lankan counterparts were able to negotiate the price down to USD 445 per metric ton. 

According to the Secretary, exporters fill the inventory from the domestic market. The Rice is loaded on the ships after the Rice cleaning process to remove dust. The foreign exchanges earned according to the contract are deposited into an account and exchanged for local currency at the set rate of K1,850. This is the trading process for now. Although the dollar is worth over K2,000 at the unofficial exchanges, the official exchange rate is fixed. This is why the exporters face financial hardship to offer a higher price in the competitive market. Those who are buying them are not making profits, yet they are trying to accomplish the contract.

The export Rice prices (low grade) move in the range of K29,000 and K30,000 per 108-pound bag, depending on different varieties.



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