The prices of pulses stood at K1.7 million per tonne of black gram (Fair Average Quality/RC), K1.95 million per tonne of black gram (Special Quality) and K1.915 million per tonne of pigeon peas (red gram/RC) on 28 November 2022.
The prices of black gram (FAQ/RC) were K1.667 million per tonne on 5 August and K1.78 million per tonne on 6 August and rocketed to K2.1 million on 31 August. Thereafter, the prices were on downward trends and it returned to K1.7 million per tonne on 28 November.
Meanwhile, the price of pigeon peas does not fluctuate much like black gram. The price of pigeon peas is K215,000 per tonne higher than the black gram (FAQ/RC) on 28 November.
FOB prices stood at US$730-750 per tonne of black gram (FAQ), $850.870 per tonne of black gram (SQ) and $790-810 per tonne of pigeon peas. New black gram and pigeon peas cultivated under an intercropping system started to enter the market.
The black gram price hit a record high of K2.456 million per tonne in the Yangon market on 17 October 2015, whereas the FOB price was $1,850-1,870 per tonne and the Kyat-US Dollar Exchange Rate was K1,285. The black gram SQ was priced at K2.656 million per tonne then, with the FOB price at $1,970-2,000.
On 31 August 2022, the black gram prices stood at K2.1 million per tonne (FAQ) and K2.41 million (SQ), while the FOB prices were $785-805 for FAQ and $925-945 for SQ. The reference dollar exchange rate was K2,100 and it was higher a lot in the grey market.
Following the suspension of India’s pulses import as of the end of March 2018, the Yangon market was forced to shut down for four days from 22 August. Prior to those days, 95 container loads of black gram (FAQ) (2,340 tonnes) were traded at K800,000 per tonne on 21 August 2017. The black gram SQ was valued at K1.025 million per tonne at that time. ($600-620 (FAQ) and $780-800 (SQ) in FOB prices).
One month after the resumption of the Yangon market, the black gram price plunged to K425,000 per tonne (FAQ) on 16 October 2017, with FOB price at $390-410 per tonne. The price continued declining to K382,000 per tonne on 4 May 2018 ($285-305 in FOB prices).
The market events showed the price is positively related to the foreign exchange rate, India’s demand and India’s policy on pulses import.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and India signed on 18 June 2022, India will import 250,000 tonnes of black gram and 100,000 tonnes of pigeon peas (tur) from Myanmar for five consecutive years from 2021-2022 financial year to 2025-2026 FY. This G-to-G pact will not affect the pulses’ annual quota set by India. Myanmar’s exporters are also entitled to deliver the pulses to India under that annual quota.
Thus, it is unlikely to happen like the unfortunate event in mid-2017. The market observer pointed out that the black gram prices are expected to hit a record high like that in late 2015. — TWA/GNLM