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November 20, 2019

India buying Myanmar beans at low price despite high demand

Traders evaluate quality of the various kinds of bean at the warehouse in Mandalay. Photo : Aung Thant Khaing (Mandalay)
Traders evaluate quality of the various kinds of bean at the warehouse in Mandalay. Photo : Aung Thant Khaing (Mandalay)

By Nyein Nyein

Although India is buying Myanmar beans to meet domestic demand, the prices it is offering are low, said U Min Ko Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
“India, the main buyer of Myanmar beans and pulses, has announced an import quota of 150,000 tons for mung beans this year. With the demand for mung beans from India rising during their bean production season, India is purchasing more Myanmar beans to meet the needs of the market. However, the orders to buy mung beans have to be made with the permission of the Indian government,” he added.
“Despite the high demand, India is purchasing Myanmar beans only at low prices. We found that bean farming in some states of India has been adversely affected by flooding and torrential rains.
In this regard, India has already announced an import quota of 150,000 tons for mung beans. Now, in October, their import quota system has been suspended, and they have invited merchants to submit orders to buy mung beans with the permission of the Indian government. They are purchasing mung beans like last year. When India is in need of beans, it changes its policy. Last year, India was faced with the same problem. Anyway, the price of Myanmar beans has increased in the local market. But, the price of beans in the Indian market has decreased by US$250 per ton compared to the Myanmar market,” said U Min Ko Oo.
“While the price of beans has increased to $650 per ton in Myanmar, the price is over $800 in the Indian bean market. India is used to changing its policy when they need the beans to import into their country. If they still purchase under the import quota system, our country will suffer losses in trade because we will not get a fair price,” he said.
In order to prevent losses to local farmers because of the unreliable and unpredictable policy of India, the government had requested that India purchase Myanmar beans through the government-to- government channel. However, India has not made any response yet. India is only purchasing Myanmar beans under the import quota system, he added. If India is still practicing the quota system, Myanmar, which mainly imports beans to India, needs to be careful in bean production, according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
“The association and the government cannot say which bean should be grown and which should not. We can only explain the real situation,” said U Min Ko Oo.
Currently, new mung beans are fetching over K100,000 per ton in the local market. (Translated by Hay Mar)

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