Nine companies, including Mapco, have been selected to export rice officially to China, starting in April and May, Ye Min Aung, general secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), told a press conference.
China Certification and Inspection Group offices are being opened in Yangon, Mandalay and Muse.
Ye Min Aung said: “Due to Chinese New Year, we expect to start exporting by the end of February. But that is not the time when rice is purchased in China. China harvests rice in December and January. Myanmar’s rice-growing area is only eight million hectares while China has over 50 or 60 million hectares, and in some years, 100 million hectares. It is the biggest grower of rice in the world. It exports on the one hand and imports with the other. This is the rice harvesting time in China. The regular time for China to purchase rice is April, May and June.”
The nine exporters are FRP, Myanmar Rice Mill, Golden Land East Asia, Bayintnaung Business Group, MRDC, Shan (North) SPRDC, Ayeyar Pathein, MAPCO and Rakhine Rice and Paddy.
“It’s not just these nine companies that will export but also other small- and medium-sized suppliers will follow. As a first step, the larger companies will lead, allowing smaller firms to follow,” said a MRF spokesperson.
China imports about five million tonnes of rice every year, meaning Myanmar will need to compete with Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Laos, and Cambodia for the Chinese market.
At present, Myanmar has exported more than 1.1 million tonnes of rice to foreign countries and about 800,000 tonnes to China.