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October 15, 2019

India yet to respond to request on mung bean import this year: association

Though seven months have lapsed since Myanmar asked India to purchase 400,000 tons of mung beans this year, the neighbouring country has not given any response yet, said U Min Ko Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
“As we said, we have sent the draft contract to India via the Indian embassy. But, they haven’t responded to our request yet, even though this fiscal year is going to end in September. And, even if they reply to us now, we cannot sell in this fiscal year because there is not much time left for us to coordinate the sale. So, sale through the government-to-government channel could not be carried out this year,” said U Min Ko Oo.
The Union Minister for Commerce had attended the 4th ASEAN-India Expo and Summit, which was held in New Delhi, India, in February, along with beans and sesame merchants. The delegation had met with Indian officials and requested them to purchase 400,000 tons of mung beans from Myanmar this year. However, the Indian authorities have not responded to the request yet.
“Since India introduced the quota system in 2017, the local bean price has become unstable. It is difficult to surmise that it will benefit local farmers. So, local farmers have already reduced acreage under mung beans and pigeon peas, as their sales rely on the Indian market in toto,” said U Min Ko Oo.
“Due to instability in the Indian market, which is the main source of customers for Myanmar, we need to suggest a further reduction in mung beans and pigeon peas cultivation to our local farmers in the coming year, or we must ask them to grow other types of beans,” he added.
This year, India had announced that it would import 150,000 tons of mung beans and 200,000 tons of pigeon peas.
Although Myanmar’s mung bean production has declined this year, Myanmar could have produced over 300,000 tons of mung beans, according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
Besides India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, and the European countries buy beans and pulses from Myanmar. But, they purchase only a small volume of beans and pulses, according to the association.
The Ministry of Commerce is coordinating with those concerned to sell pulses and beans to India under a government-to-government pact. The ministry is also exploring markets in other countries to export pulses and beans, said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister of Commerce.
Local farmers and merchants have been adversely affected by the volatility in the bean market after India changed its import policy in August, 2017. Currently, the price of mung beans is K760,000 per ton, while that of pigeon peas is K830,000 per ton. (Translated by Hay Mar)

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