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Corn Prices Up on Strong Foreign Demand

The prices of corn are escalating on the back of strong foreign demand, said Min Khaing, Chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association. Myanmar’s corns are demanded by the Philippines, India and Vietnam at present and the sea trade is used for their shipment. China and Thailand are also purchasing them through cross-border trade. “The price of corn has risen for now. The export demand elevated the price a bit,” he said. The prices of corn reached a high of 1,050 Kyats per viss (a viss ~ 1.6 kg) in the Yangon market, higher than those recorded in the previous years, he added.

The FOB prices were approximately $320-340 perton, according to the Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ba Yint Naung). The foreign demand and Kyat depreciation against foreign currencies (US dollar, Baht and Yuan) drove the corn prices up, Min Khaing continued.

Myanmar exported 2.3 million tons of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020/21 financial year (2.2 million tons in 2019/20), bringing in nearly $400 million in much needed foreign currencies. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and the remaining went to China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Thailand gives green light to corn imports through Maesot under zero tariff, between February 1 and August 31. Thailand has granted this tax exemption on corn imports between February and August. However, Thailand imposes a maximum tax rate of 73% on corn imports to protect the rights of their domestic growers if the corn is imported during the corn season of Thailand.

At present, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons – winter, summer, and monsoon. The country produces 2.5 – 3 million tons of corn every year.