Chinese officials began seizing trucks carrying rice to China at Lweje checkpoint on the Myanmar-China border starting on December 3, according to rice dealers.
“About 40 rice tracks were seized in Lweje checkpoint by Chinese authorities. There were between 5,000 and 10,000 rice bags,” said one of the dealers who exports rice to China via the checkpoint.
Currently, the rice price is a little lower than usual, but it is set to rise, according to another rice dealer, Sai Kyaw, from Mandalay.
Sai Kyaw said farmers had received a good price at harvesting time, but some dealers faced losses. This is why the Myanmar rice market relied heavily on the Chinese.
Until end of November, over 2 million tonnes of rice and broken rice had been exported in the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.
In the past, Myanmar exported between 2,000 and 5,000 tonnes of rice per day via the Muse border checkpoint. Recently, from 7,000 to 9,000 tonnes of rice have been exported daily.
The Myanmar Rice Federation reported that plans were underway to export 2 million tonnes of rice to meet the target for this fiscal year.
Most Myanmar rice is exported to China, with Bangladesh the second-biggest market.
Translated by Khin Set Maw