Myanmar: Maungdaw rice loses value in face of limited demand

Rice prices in Maungdaw township, Rakhine State, have fallen this year, according to merchants and residents from the region.

The change in price is due to decrease in demand. Bangladesh, which borders Myanmar, is having a decent yield this year and Yangon-based traders have decided to directly export rice to import rice from there. Hence the demand for Maungdaw rice has fallen, according to U Aung Myint Thein, chair of Maungdaw Border Trade Chamber of Commerce.

Border trade with Bangladesh is a big part of Maungdaw’s economy. The price of rise is not faring well because there isn’t any demand within the area, U Han Soe, a local resident, commented.

The price of 50kg of medium-grade rice was over K30,000 during the last rainy season. Currently, it is only  slightly over K20,000, representing a drop of 30 percent of the price. Likewise, the lower-quality rice cost, which was over K25,000 during the last rain season, has dropped to K15,000, according to the local merchants.Â

The lack of stability in the region, coupled with poor transport  infrastr-ucture, has made it difficult for traders to sell rice from Maungdaw and other regions, businesses suggested.