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Burma Beans and Pulses Monthly Trade Report
Burma's beans and pulses exports for the calendar year 2003 were down approximately nine percent from the previous year. India remained the largest importer in December, and for the year. Pakistan, China, Japan, and Bangladesh were the other key buyers in the year.

During December, Burma exported 38,493 metric tons (mt) of beans and pulses. Black Matpe comprised 57 percent, Mung bean 21 percent and Toor Whole (Pigeon pea) 19 percent of the total beans and pulses exports.

The major destination was India who took 80 percent of the total exports. December’s exports increased 42 percent from December, 2002. For 2003 the total beans and pulses exports decreased by 9 percent from the previous year’s (2002) exports.

Export prices set for beans and pulses by the Price Appraisal Committee that met in December 2003 are: FAQ= Fair Average Quality SQ= Super Quality

Matpe (FAQ) US$ 185.-
Matpe (SQ) US$ 220.-
Mung beans (FAQ) US$ 270.-
Butter beans (Lima beans) (FAQ) US$ 240.-
Toor Whole (Pigeon pea) (FAQ) US$ 250.-

At the end of the year, trading of beans and pulses was almost stagnant in the domestic market due to little export demand. Prices for Matpe (old crop) and other beans and pulses (old crop) were depressed. The beans and pulses harvest has begun and new crop has started to enter the market and speculative trading of beans and pulses (new crop) should be strong in the coming months. Since beans and pulses cannot be stored for longer periods due to eventual pest infestation, prices for the old crop usually fall when the new crop comes onto the market.

There was a decrease of 9 percent in Burma’s beans and pulses exports as compared to the previous year when Burma exported 977,534 mt. The major buyers for Burma’s beans and pulses were India, Pakistan, China, Japan Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, and the U.A.E. Regular buyers from the Middle East were Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the U.A.E. Among the European buyers United Kingdom and Germany were regular buyers and United States bought a small amount (23 mt) of Matpe in 2003. In CY 2003, exports to China decreased by 53 percent, India by 11 percent, Belgium by 65 percent, and Thailand by 63 percent, respectively, even though prices for beans and pulses have gone down both within Burma and on the international markets.

India, the major buyer for Burmese beans and pulses, took 84 percent of the total exports, some 749,657 mt in 2003, as compared to 86 percent in CY 2002, at 838,088 mt. Traders think that this year India bought a significant portion of their beans and pulses from Canada, with whom Burma could not compete on quality or price. It was learned that the major beans and pulses market in India in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi were also weak. Prices remain low in Burma as a result.

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that exports to Japan increased by 60 percent, reaching 15,694 mt, as compared to the previous year when Burma exported 9,823 metric tons. The increase in exports was mainly due to increased exports of Butter beans (Lima beans). Burma exported 8,652 mt of these beans in 2003 to Japan, as compared to 2002 exports of 5,031 mt. Some traders speculate that Japan will increase imports of Butter beans (Lima beans) from Burma whenever the prices of U.S. Lima beans climb. Even though the amount of Butter beans (Lima beans) exports from Burma is not a large amount for Japan, Post will monitor this situation since Burmese Butter beans compete with U.S. Lima beans in this market.

Last January, the Ministry of Commerce fixed Black Matpe prices at US$ 224 per mt for fair average quality and US$ 265 per mt for special quality. Since June 2003, prices have dropped to US$ 165 per mt for average quality and US$ 205 per mt for special quality. In November prices for Black Matpe recovered and reached US$ 190 per mt for average quality and US$ 230 per mt for special quality.

The prices of beans and pulses in the domestic market have also declined since last August. The price of raw Matpe was about Kyat 24,000 (Kyat 880 = $1.00 U.S.) per bag (98 kilos) in January, then fell to Kyat 10,800 during the first week of August. The ready cargo price for Black Matpe was Kyat 120,000 per mt in August, down from Kyat 240,000 per mt at the beginning of last year. Even though current prices are higher than in August, the prices are still lower than in previous years. The fall off in Indian demand is the primary reason for this price decline.
MGR Archive 25.2.2004
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