Bean imports to be temporarily suspended
Bean imports will be temporarily suspended starting from September 15, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Commerce in the second week of September.
At a pulse and bean coordination team meeting during the first week of September, bean merchants requested the ministry to stop bean imports.
After the Ministry checked the situation, it was found that imported bean supplies exceeded demand. Consequently, the decision to temporarily suspend bean imports to stabilise the local market was made.
Import license applications submitted before September 15 will be allowed only if a Bill of Lading (BL) can be submitted. Renewal of previous bean import licenses were also suspended from September 8.
The move allows excessive stocks of pigeon peas, mung beans and black beans in Myanmar resulting from the recent import restrictions by India to be absorbed by the local market as substitutes for the imported beans, Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Entrepreneurs Association secretary U Min Ko Oo told the Myanmar Times.
Myanmar imports a small amount of beans, which includes green peas from Canada, Australia and Ukraine for use in vermicelli mills, because these are cheaper than the beans it imports.
While a tonne of pigeon peas for the export market costs about US$500 to US$600 a tonne, the same quantity of imported green peas cost only about US$300.
However, as the price of pigeon peas has fallen to around US$300 a tonne, pigeon peas can now used as a substitute for imported green peas and raise demand.
Green peas, which are mainly used in place of chick peas for making vermicelli, have been imported for 4 years and last year, over 100,000 tonnes were imported. If pigeon peas can be substituted, its demand will be increased.
"If beans import is suspended, there will be a local market for substitute beans." U Min Ko Oo said.
The Ministry of Commerce will review the import of beans depending on domestic market requirements.