Export of rice within four months of this fiscal year has decreased by over 100,000 tons compared with the same period of last year, said Toe Myint Aung, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce.
The secretary attributed the decline of rice export towards several reasons such as heavy rain and difficulties in export procedures as well as transport woes.
"Export has declined significantly due to continuous rainfalls. In border areas, roads were damaged. There have been prices changes. This year saw a decrease of over 100,000 tons of rice compared to the previous year," said the permanent secretary.
According to Myanmar Rice Federation, in over four months of this mini budget year, about US$290 million was earned from exporting more than 830,000 tons of rice and broken rice.
From April 1 to August 2, 833,663.820 tons of rice and broken rice were exported earning US$288.986 million.
Myanmar exports rice through maritime and border trade routes. Of the total amount, 363878.420 tons or rice and broken rice worth US$121.121 million through maritime route while 469785.400 tons of rice and broken rice worth US$167.865 million were exported through border routes
In the previous 2017-2018 fiscal year, nearly 3.6 million tons of rice were exported reaching record high in over 50 years thanks tothe extended international market. Last fiscal year, Myanmar was on the list of five top rice exporting countries.
In export of Myanmar's rice in the previous years, over 70 percent was through border trade routes and about 30 percent maritime route.
With the extended rice market in more countries in the previous 2017-2018 FY, export of rice increased significantly compared to the years before, total rice export increased up to 48 percent.
The country exported 1.423 million tons of rice and broken rice worth US$ 551 million in 2012-2013 FY, 1.262 million tons worth US$ 475 million in 2013-2014 FY, 1.840 million tons worth US$ 660 million in 2014-2015 FY, 1.493 million tons worth US$ 526 million in 2015-2016 FY, 1.750 million tons worth US$ 553 million in 2016-2017 FY and 3.576 million tons worth over US$ 1,136 million in 2017-2018 FY.
The volume of rice export via border trade exceeds sea route exports. Rice exports via border trade accounted for 60 per cent in 2012-2013, 72 per cent in 2013-2014, 77 per cent in 2014-2015, 82 per cent in 2015-2016 and 72 per cent in 2016-2017.
Rice export is expected to hit up to four million tons worth US$ 1.5 billion during three years, according to Myanmar Rice Federation.