Myanmar diesel imports rise as rice exports improve
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Myanmar’s trade deficit has widened on the back of fluctuations in commodity prices, illegal trade and a weaker currency.

In 2016-17, the trade deficit amounted to over US$5.5 billion, up from US$5.4 billion in 2015-16 and US$4.9 billion in 2014-15, according to the statistics released by the Central Statistical Organisation.

Among the country’s imports is diesel. Between September 17 and September 23, Myanmar imported over 64,000 tonnes of diesel worth US$32 million by sea, representing an increase of over 278,800 tonnes compared to the week before, according to government media reports.

About a third of the diesel entered the country through Myeik, near the Myanmar-Thailand land border trade camp.

Diesel consumption in Myanmar during the 2015-16 fiscal year had risen to 809 million gallons, up from 600 million gallons in the previous year and doubling from just four years ago, data from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy revealed.

However, demand for rice and broken rice produced in Myanmar is also rising. During the same week in September, the country exported 26,825 tonnes of white and parboiled rice worth US$8.1 million, an increase of 5,579 tonnes compared to the previous week, government media reports said.

The country also exported 34,835 tonnes of broken rice valued at US$8.5 million. That’s up by 27,145 tonnes compared to the previous week. Broken rice is fractured grains of rice usually sold for a cheaper price compared to white or parboiled rice.

Myanmar exports rice mainly to Bangladesh via the Sittwe border trade camp and to China via the Muse, Lwejel and Chinshwehaw border points.

It also exports rice to Singapore, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Senegal, Japan, South Africa, Russia and Afghanistan via sea.
Source : mmtimes