Rice exporters flout ban

Although rice exports have been stopped while flooding has forced up domestic demand, about 100 rice trucks have been seen passing the Chinese border each day, leading to a threat to name it a “restricted good” by Win Myint, the union minister for commerce.

The price of rice and other foods has risen as a consequence of the heavy flooding and the ministry has tried to control the market price. Win Myint is also chairperson of the price control committee.

Rice export trade to be reconsidered in November

The Ministry of Commerce reported on 10 August that with 34.817 million tonnes of rice reserved for local consumption, rice exports will be reconsidered for the resumption of normal operations in November.

The current rate of rice consumption per month for Myanmar's over 51 million citizens is currently calculated to be at 8.582 million tonnes and 34.326 million tonnes up until November. Using the same calculations, the Ministry said in its report that there will be 49,000 tonnes left over for export.

Calls to stop illegal rice exports

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) has urged the Ministry of Commerce to control illegal rice exports while the grain is in such intense domestic demand.

General secretary Ye Min Aung said rice exports were suspended until mid-September to avoid rising prices in flooded areas.

The MRF said it would allow licence holders to export rice through land borders but no further licences would be issued.

Rice federation to stamp out profiteering

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) says it is ready to punish those taking advantage of the flooding crisis to raise prices.

Charities have been buying huge amounts of rice at high prices for flood victims and people have been stocking up on rice due to fear of scarcity in the coming weeks.

Rice exports suspended

Myanmar Rice Federation says rice exports are being suspended until September 15 due to the flooding and the grain will be imported if needed.

Chairperson Chit Khine told a press conference: “People are afraid of rice shortages as 11 out of 14 states and regions are inundated. That’s why we decided to stop the export of rice temporarily. Prices are increasing. Organisations and people have bought rice at high prices for donations without thinking.

Onion exports to pause

Since the domestic price for onions is higher than the export price, exports will pause for a while, according to Khin Han, the chairperson of the Bayintnaung Wholesale Centre.

“The exports will resume when prices change,” he said.

The price of a viss (1.6kg) of small onions rose from Ks350 (US$0.3) to Ks700, and that of big onions from Ks700 to Ks1,000.

Meanwhile, a tonne of exported small onions costs US$330 and big onions US$500.

Rice exports to be suspended to stabilise prices

Myanmar will suspend its rice exports until September 15 in an attempt to stabilise rice prices, the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) announced on Monday.

MRF chairman Dr Soe Tun posted a notice on his Facebook page saying the Myanmar Rice Merchants Association reached an agreement on the suspension of rice exports until September 15, the date of the monsoon harvest, and resolved to support the stabilisation of rice prices.

Stock exchange entry criteria to be unveiled

Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein has said that the Ministry of Finance will release the entry criteria in the first week of August for firms looking to register on the stock exchange.

The rules will be available at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“There are international standard criteria among the list we will be producing and, since it’s about three pages long, it is not convenient to publish it in newspapers. So it will only be available at the office,” said Maung Maung Thein.

Electric train due to open this year

An electric train will start operating in Yangon in October and December, according to the Ministry of Rail Transportation.

The government and the Japan-based West Corporation sealed a deal on July 27 over the electric train that will run from Pansodan to Htawlikwae in Ahlon Township along the Yangon waterfront in the first phase in October, and from Pansodan to Lansadawn in the second phase in December. The Japanese partner will provide the specialist equipment.

The fares are still unspecified.

11 unlicensed cars seized

Eleven cars with no official documents have been seized in Bago Region from July 13-24, according to the anti-smuggling team.

The team inspected the cars near Nyaunglebin Township travelling to Yangon from Myawaddy and found they lacked licences.

The Toyotas, Hondas, Mitsubishis, Hondas, Nissans and Isuzus have been confiscated.

Customs officers claimed no import tax had been paid on the vehicles.

The authorities say cars are imported illegally from Thailand and China almost every month.

In June, nine vehicles were confiscated at the Myawaddy gate.