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August 08, 2020

India asked to extend mung bean import deadline, prescribe quota for next fiscal

Merchants evaluating various kinds of bean at a brokerage house in Mandalay.  Photo: Min Htet Aung
Merchants evaluating various kinds of bean at a brokerage house in Mandalay.  Photo: Min Htet Aung

By Nyein Nyein

The Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association (MPBSSMA) has submitted a request through the Ministry of Commerce to the Indian authorities, asking them to extend the mung bean import deadline and specify the import quota for mung beans for the next financial year.
India has announced that Myanmar needs to export 250,000 tons of mung beans to the country by 31 March.
For the 2019-2020FY, India had announced an import quota of 150,000 tons for mung beans. However, the India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade under Ministry of Commerce and Industry released a notice on 12 December, asking Myanmar to export 250,000 tons of mung beans to India by 31 March.
“We have to export mung beans to India by 31 March, which is the ending date of the Indian financial year. We will have to send the mung beans before 15 March so that the mung beans will reach India by 31 March. It remained only two-and-a-half months before the deadline. There are only 100,000 tons of mung beans in domestic stock. New mung beans will be harvested at the end of February, 2020. We may have sufficient quantity of mung beans to export to India in 2020. There will be additional 150,000 tons of new mung beans in February. But, nothing is impossible to export 250,000 tons of mung beans in just two or two-and-a-half months. So, our association has requested India to extend the mung bean import deadline through the Ministry of Commerce. We have requested that the deadline be extended until the end of April. We have also asked them to determine how many tons of beans will they import in the next financial year,” said U Min Ko Oo, secretary of MPBSSMA.
This year, India followed an import quota system again because its domestic supply of monsoon mung beans was lower on account of climate change. Although Myanmar has asked India to purchase the beans through a government-to-government system, India is still buying the beans through an import quota system.
“India has been practicing the import quota system for the benefit of their own country since 2017. Canada and Australia are also bean exporter countries. They can export more than us. They have complained to the World Trade Organization. However, India is still pursuing the same policy. Now, they are purchasing more mung beans from Myanmar because of their rising need,” said U Min Ko Oo.
In the two months of the 2019-2020FY, a total of 210,000 tons of mung beans, pigeon peas, and green grams were shipped to foreign countries. Mung beans made up more than 120,000 tons of the total bean exports, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. (Translated by Hay Mar)

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