Trade deficit shrinks to $700 mln as imports decline

A fall in imports in the past seven months of the fiscal year has helped narrow Myanmar’s trade deficit to US$700 million, a significant drop from a deficit of $2.4 billion registered in the corresponding period of the 2017-2018 FY, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.

Between 1 October, 2018 and 26 April, 2019, Myanmar’s external trade increased to $19.9 billion from $19.2 billion recorded in the same period of the previous FY.

For the seven-month period this fiscal, exports were estimated at $9.6 billion and imports valued at $10.3 billion. Compared to the previous fiscal, exports have increased by $1.2 billion, while imports have fallen by $500 million.

Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, intermediate goods, CMP raw materials, and consumer goods.

The country’s export sector relies more on the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. While export earnings from the CMP (cut, make and pack) garment businesses are rising, the country’s reliance on natural resources such as natural gas and jade is lessening.

The government is trying to reduce the trade deficit by screening luxury import items and boosting exports.
Myanmar’s trade deficit was pegged at $1.3 billion in the last mini-budget period, $3.9 billion in the 2017-2018FY, $5.3 billion in the 2016-2017 FY, and $5.4 billion in the 2015-2016 FY, according to statistics released by the Central Statistical Organization.—Mon Mon (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)