Myanmar temporarily suspends rice export permits

The Ministry of Commerce is temporarily suspending the issuance of rice export permits, says a senior official with the Department of Trade.

“We are just restricting the issuance of new export licences as a temporary measure until we can change to a better system. But after the new arrangements are in place, the licences will be issued again,” said Department of Trade Director General U Min Min yesterday.

Amid speculation that the ministry had banned rice exports, U Min Min explained it was just a transition measure towards a better system. However, he did not provide any information about the new system or when it would be put in place.

While some observers concluded that the ban may be meant to ensure domestic rice sufficiency during the COVID-19 outbreak, one official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation dispelled this.

“There is enough domestic supply and the speculation is spread by those who want to exploit conditions. As things are only surplus rive is allowed for exports,” the official who declined to be named said.

“A new rice export system is being worked out and it will soon be put in place. We have already approved permits to export 250,000 tonnes of rice by sea so traders can export that amount during the transition period,” U Min Min added. 

Myanmar’s rice is exported mainly to countries is Asia, Africa, and Europe.

According to data from the last week of February, Myanmar exported over 40,000 tonnes of rice worth US$13million by sea, including 8000 tonnes worth US$2.3 million to China. – Translated

Source: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-temporarily-suspends-rice-export-permits.html