The Myanmar Ministry of Commerce has reported that as of mid-December, nearly 600,000 tonnes of rice have been exported this fiscal year. This is about 110,000 tonnes down from the same period last year. From April 1 to December 16, the country exported around 590,000 tonnes of rice as compared to more than 700,000 tonnes recorded for the same period last year. Myanmar exports rice mainly to China through its port at Muse but also to more than 30 other countries by sea. One reason for the fall of exports from Muse is the tense situation arising because of fighting taking place between the Myanmar military and ethnic rebels near Muse since late November.
Muse saw exports worth more than US$2.2 billion and more than $1.1 billion of imports. The border trade saw a drop of more than $238 million in exports and more than $6 million in imports year on year, according to the commerce ministry. This year’s rice exports have fallen as the Chinese authorities imposed tighter controls at Muse as a result of fighting that took place between the Myanmar military and ethnic rebels near Muse in late November. The Myanmar Rice Federation says a greater proportion of rice is now being exported by sea, with about 60,000 tonnes sailing to African markets every month on average.