Monday, August 17, 2009

Regulations imposed on beans and pulses market

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by May Kyaw
Saturday, 15 August 2009 13:55

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese military regime has regulated the export and prices of beans and pulses through the ‘Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry’ (UMFCCI).

The Ministry of Economics and Commerce has banned online export license applications, which was being granted since 2006. Under the new regulation, the exporters must apply for an export license through UMFCCI. This body must fix the price of beans and pulses in the market, where the traders are freely trading.

“Beans can be exported. UMFCCI is not totally controlling the market but exporting this commodity is becoming difficult,” a bean brokerage firm owner in the Bayintnaung commodity exchange told Mizzima.

After the prices of beans and pulses began increasing in the domestic market in July this year, UMFCCI invited traders to their office five times to help control the prices. Soon after that the new regulation scheme was announced.

It is learnt that traders are not favouring this new system of restricting prices by the UMFCCI and the difficulty in getting export licenses.

“There was a problem between UMFCCI and traders mainly on restriction in export as they do not control the prices. As for the traders, they want to speculate in the market. There is no problem in rising prices of beans and pulses but falling prices has a lot of impact. It is impossible to control the price but they can control the export,” a Bayintnaung commodity exchange based bean and pulse brokerage firm owner said.

An executive member of UMFCCI said, “We invited the traders and held meetings with them when the prices rose a little. Currently the traders are conducting their business at the commodity exchange as usual. It’s true that the price of these commodities is in their hands”.

Despite less speculation in the beans market due to the control and regulation of prices and restriction on export license by UMFCCI, the traders are still controlling the price.

The traders are worried about losing interest and motivation among bean and pulse producers because of falling prices.

Last year, a commercial scandal surfaced in the beans and pulses market. After that UMFCCI seized the assets of five big defaulters, resold them and divided all the proceeds from the sale of these assets to pay back their creditors. The new regulatory scheme followed.

To avoid such a scandal between bean traders and bean exporting companies in the future, SPDC Secretary (1) Lt. Gen. Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo formed the beans and pulses trading companies on a township basis but these companies cannot yet do effective trading and export, the traders said.

“There are bean traders and bean enterprise owners in these townships. But they cannot yet function properly,” a bean brokerage firm owner in Bayintnaung exchange said.

Some of these trading companies are providing agricultural loans to farmers and getting involved in rice export business to some extent but they cannot yet go for beans exports.

Last year, Burma exported 1.9 ton of beans and pulses. A major buyer is India.


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