As per local sources, it has been indicated that the Myanmar rice exporters are planning to enhance parboiled rice exports, which have hurt severely due to fall in demand, lower international prices and increased competition by diversifying into Europe. In this regard, the Deputy Chair of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) informed that exporters have been since long dependent on Russia for parboiled rice exports but with fall in sales and thus they have decided to diversify into Europe.
It has been indicated that the Ministry of Commerce and the MRF presented their parboiled rice at the Milan Expo 2015. The MRF official noted that Myanmar has exported two or three containers of parboiled rice to the European nations and is yet to receive a green signal. According to the data it has been reported that Myanmar exported about 100,000 tons of parboiled rice in the 2014-15 fiscal year (April – March). While, the south-east Asian has exported only 30,000 tons since the beginning of the 2015-16 fiscal year. The MRF Deputy Chair observed that at the current pace, the export target of 100,000 tons looks quite ambitious.
Furthermore, it has been noted that Myanmar’s parboiled rice exports have fallen by around 50% in this year due to fall in the international prices. Myanmar export price of about $400 per ton of parboiled rice is higher compared to the prices of Vietnam and India. Parboiled rice from other countries is cheaper and of a better quality and it may not be possible to compete.
According to the Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce, the Ayeyarwady region, where most of the parboiled rice is grown, experienced severe flooding during July and August and thus the exporters lost several orders as they could not export rice on time. Whereas, their competitors stepped in the meantime.