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July 03, 2020

Covid-19 delays trade flow to India despite adequate supplies of mung bean

Merchants evaluate quality of pulses at the Mandalay wholesale market last year.  Photo: Min Htet Aung
Merchants evaluate quality of pulses at the Mandalay wholesale market last year.  Photo: Min Htet Aung

By Nyein Nyein

Myanmar assures adequate supplies of mung bean for India’s market, yet the Covid-19 consequences slow the trade flow, Secretary U Min Ko Oo of Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchant Association (MPBSSMA) told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM) on 20 April.
“The supplies of mung beans in the domestic market is enough for export. Now, the port started to reopen on 20 April. Nevertheless, the agents are still not active for trading, coupled with other problems. The goods are not delivered as the time it was supposed to arrive at the port, owing to the disruption and delay in trade flow, Coronavirus-preventative restrictions in India and in Yangon,” said U Min Ko Oo.
India has earlier extended the period for import quota of 250,000 tonnes of mung beans by April-end and made a further extension to 15 May, due to Covid-19 impacts.
As India has market requirement on beans, especially mung bean. India imposed a nationwide restriction as of mid-April and extended it to slow the spread of Covid-19. As a result of this, supply chain disruption affects trade. Upon the licenced traders seeking request to extend the period, India notified extension of import quota by 15 May.
For the current fiscal, India has increased the quota limit from 150,000 to 400,000 tonnes to reach the market’s demand, according to a trade notice released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 12 December 2019.
India has earlier stated that the further increased quota of 250,000 tonnes has to arrive at India’s port by 31 March 2020. Due to the Covid-19 impacts, they made the extension two times.
At present, more than 150,000 tonnes of mung beans have been shipped, according to the association.
India experienced a low yield of mung beans due to erratic weather last year. Under the provincial government’s approval, more mung beans are purchased beyond the previous quota limit, driving up the mung bean price up to above K1.3 million per tonne.
Mung bean is priced around K960,000-970,000 per tonne during the post-Thingyan period.
Moreover, India’s Commerce Department has issued an announcement on 17 March to import 400,000 tonnes of mung beans for the 2020-2021FY as per the amended 2015-2020 Foreign Trade Policy of the Central Government.
Myanmar is the main supplier of mung beans to India. Concerning other types of beans, Myanmar has to compete against Australian and African markets, according to Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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