Status And Prospects Of Myanmar Pulses
By Shyam Narsaria, Ceo, Arvee International Pte Ltd.
Pulse exports from Myanmar have grown into a $1 billion export industry in three decades since liberalization. As the first major agricultural sector to be liberalized, in 1988, pulses offered uniquely attractive returns to both farmers and traders. By 1991, pulses surpassed rice to become Myanmar’s most valuable agricultural export. From less than 100,000 tons in 1988, exports have increased to nearly 1.5 million tons in 2016.
The Myanmar pulses market was sent into disarray on August 21, 2017, when the Foreign Trade Department under the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry said it had limited the import of black beans (urad) and mung beans into India to 300,000 tonnes per fiscal year. That came after the same department announced a 200,000 tonne import limit on pigeon peas (tur/arhar) on August 5 2017. There have been no such restrictions in the past.
The severe restriction by India limiting the amount of pulse varieties from Myanmar has quickly and adversely affected the Myanmar pulses market. The restriction was intended to lift Indian domestic price above the specified Minimum Support Price (MSP) of pulses in India. However, this has put pressure on producers in Myanmar who rely heavily on export to India.
Myanmar is examining ways to expand and re-classify Myanmar’s pulses destined for export. Myanmar is also trying to solve the present problem; many ways are being explored. But the damage to the Myanmar market is done, and exposed the weaknesses of the pulses market. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmarindia- continue-pulse-and-bean-price-negotiations.html
Now, concerns among local traders over the potential collapse of the local pulses and bean market are mounting.
Because of this restriction, not only the farmers and factory workers are affected, but also more than hundreds of thousands of service providers related to this industry are badly affected.
Most of the Pulses are being sold below the cost of production and many businesses are suffering losses. That’s why Myanmar Farmers are voicing their concerns and the future of Pulses production in Myanmar is uncertain.
Some exports of pulses are made to countries like China, Bangladesh, Nepal, UAE and Pakistan at low prices; but these countries have also fulfilled their import requirements as a result of which demand has become stagnant.
Stock and Prices
At this point in time, Myanmar is left with over a million metric tons of various variety of pulses (including the current harvest) still with the farmers and they are keeping a close watch on the further notification from the foreign Trade Department under the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry as the Quantitative Restriction was made until 31st March 2018.
After the recent visit on 6th Sep 2017 by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi where he said “We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ (Development for all) initiative”, Myanmar farmers are still hopeful.
Now is the time for the Indian counterpart to decide whether they still consider Myanmar farmers as friends forever!