Saturday, August 19, 2017

B&P prices jump on India demand

Brokers inspect beans and pulses at the Mahakahtain Taw Association in Mandalay recently. Phyo Wai Kyaw/ The Myanmar TimesBrokers inspect beans and pulses at the Mahakahtain Taw Association in Mandalay recently. Phyo Wai Kyaw/ The Myanmar Times

Beans and pulses prices are skyrocketing following poor harvests in India, traders said last week.

Black gram, or matpe, prices have shot up by more than 36 percent to K615,000 a tonne RC (ready cargo) from K451,000 in late June, while pigeon pea has jumped nearly 24pc to K675,000 by August 1, said Dr Myat Soe, Bean and Pulses exporter.

“Beans and pulses prices are hitting highs for this year because crops in India have been affected by bad weather,” said Dr Myan Linn, a beans and pulses exporter and central executive committee member of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans & Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.

“Some parts of India have not had enough rain for good harvests, while other areas have had too much rain, so there has been a shortfall in the amount of beans and pulses produced in India,” he said.

“But it’s good for exporters here because if beans and pulses prices increase then farmers will be encouraged to grow more for the next season.

“However, prices will probably decrease again after September when the next major crop is harvested in India,” said Dr Myat Soe.

Another factor contributing to rising beans and pulses prices is a poor harvest in Myanmar this year, with important cropping areas in Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions also affected by bad weather.

India grows 1.2 million tonnes of beans and pulses annually but good weather can see yields increase to 1.4 million tonnes, as happened in 2010, said Dr Myat Soe. But in 2009 large parts of India suffered draught, which resulted in high prices for exports from, he added.

“Beans and pulses prices depend on India’s demand. But we have 3 million tonnes of pigeon pea ready for export this year,” he added.

In the first week of June, exporters met to discuss problems affecting the industry – mainly the exchange rate – at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry

“We decided that an exchange rate of K1100 a dollar would make all exporters happy but rice exporters said they would still make profits at K950.

“Fisheries exporters said K1100 was best for them,” said an exporter who attended the meeting.