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May 26, 2020

Low foreign demand leads to price drop of butter bean during pandemic

The butter bean prices are declining in the domestic market on the back of falling demand from the foreign markets, according to Mandalay pulses and beans market.
In April, butter bean fetched about K17,000 per basket. This month, it plunged to K13,500 per basket. The price is possible to extend the drop as the foreign demand is extremely low amid the coronavirus pandemic, the traders said.
“Butter bean export to China, Japan and European markets are falling. Now, it is relying only on the domestic market,” said a trader from Mandalay market.

Merchants evaluate quality of various categories of beans at the Bayintnaung Commodity Wholesale Centre.  PHOTO: AUNG PHYO KYAW
Merchants evaluate quality of various categories of beans at the Bayintnaung Commodity Wholesale Centre.  PHOTO: AUNG PHYO KYAW

The butter bean growers in Pwintbyu Township, Magway Region have been suffering losses since the harvest time as the price plunged nearly by half against a-year ago period, said the growers.
Last year, it fetched a good price of K37,000 per basket. In light of this, they mainly cultivated butter beans this year’s winter. At the harvest time, it was priced at K20,000 per basket only, resulting in losses to the growers. The price is extending its drop in the market due to low demand from external markets, said U Than Tun Oo, butter bean grower from Yawsu village-tract in Pwintbyu Township. Myanmar exports about 75 per cent of butter bean production to foreign markets — Japan, China, Denmark, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, China (Taipei) and Viet Nam, with an export volume of 15,000-30,000 tonnes per year.
There are over 160,000 acres of butter bean plantation both in winter and monsoon crop seasons. The butter beans are grown in June and July for monsoon growing season and harvested in October and November. The winter season is in October/November and harvest time from January to March.
The butter beans are primarily cultivated in Sagaing, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Ayeyawady regions and Mon and northern Shan states. Magway Region produces good-quality butter beans and Japan buyers prefer them. —Ko Htet  (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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