Millers, merchants urge illegal China-bound rice be stanched

Writer: 
Nilar

The illegal outflow of rice via China’s border routes needs to be addressed through existing policies, regional rice-mill associations and local rice merchants have told the government.

The export of rice without licence via Muse and Lwejel regions along the border with China, they said. Many bags of rice are being smuggled out of the country on a daily basis.

Nay Lin Zin, joint secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation, expressed concern that prices could rise if the illegal outflow of rice continues to be tolerated. Inaccurate figures regarding local demand and export volumes could affect prices, he said.

“For this problem, the private sector can only give information to the relevant ministries. Coordination with other departments and taking action are up to the relevant government departments,” he said.

From April to November 3 this fiscal year, over 1.86 million tonnes of rice were exported, earning over US$558.143 million (761.675 billion kyat). The 1,861,609.897 toness of rice (including broken rice) were exported to 78 countries.

During a rice sector development seminar and joint meeting between the central executive committee and the executive committee of the Myanmar Rice Federation held in Yangon on April 29, president Chit Khaing said he had submitted a letter urging the government to take necessary steps with the trade policy as Chinese merchants were coming directly to Yangon and Bago regions to buy rice.

This would be likely to cause a problem in the long run, he predicted.