A Pulsing Market

A sudden hike in Myanmar's bean prices has baffled some farmers as demand from India surged this week. Agriculture still employs more citizens than any other sector and accounted for USD 1.2Bn or 10% of the country's exports in 2014. Of this, the vast majority is from pulses to India, accounting for 77% of Myanmar's total agricultural exports: 
One in every three beans produced globally is eaten in India, making the country by far the largest pulse consumer in the world. The trade routes from Myanmar to their western neighbour have remained active since the British colonial era, and continue to thrive today.  
The sector has huge potential as agricultural technology improves, and with increasingly easier access to finance, the bean counters could be in for a treat.

Key Myanmar Statistics

GDP - USD 59.4 Bn
GDP Growth - 8.5%
Population - 51.41Mn
Inflation - 8.39%
Bank Deposit - 8%
Bank Lending - 13%

Weekly Overview

Politics

Aung San Suu Kyi moves to clean up Myanmar's murky jade trade

Campaigners welcome reforms to the $31bn industry, long tainted by abuses, but say only a new legal framework can bring change.

Three Ethnic Armies Will Not Disarm to Attend Myanmar Peace Conference

Three of Myanmar's armed ethnic groups have refused to agree to lay down their arms in order to participate in the government's Panglong Peace Conference at the end of the month, a leader from one of the armies said.

Central Bank to Appoint New Member

A member of the National League for Democracy's (NLD) economic committee has been put forward for the board of directors of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM).

In a Freer Myanmar, State Media Are Left Out

State-run broadcasters and newspapers such as the English-language Global New Light of Myanmar for decades had castigated Ms. Suu Kyi as a puppet of the West "obsessed by lust" and "drowning in conceit." The election of a government led by a former political prisoner who championed democracy appeared to mark a break with the past.

US Foreign Agricultural Service opens Myanmar office

The US Foreign Agricultural Service opened an office in Yangon yesterday with the aim of strengthening trade and investment relations between Myanmar and the United States.

Business & Investment

Twinings tea comes to Myanmar

Stephen Twining, tenth generation member of the famous tea family, was in Yangon for Twinings' 310th anniversary and the official launch of Twinings tea in Myanmar, according to a recent statement. The 116th market for Twinings globally, Myanmar is one of the world's fastest growing consumer markets with a large tea-drinking population.

Indian cold pills pour over remote border to fuel Myanmar narcotics boom

Today, the cross-border trickle has become a torrent and everyone knows why the Indian-made pills are so valuable: they are bound for secret laboratories in lawless eastern Myanmar that churn out most of mainland Southeast Asia's methamphetamine, or "meth".

DICA publishes private-sector plan

The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration published a report last week, written with help from the Asian Development Bank, which suggests the government should create a special council and a task force - with the interests of businesspeople clearly represented in both - dedicated to building a stronger Myanmar private sector.

Bean prices up on Indian demand

Indian demand for Myanmar mung beans has caused prices to jump by more than 10 percent over the past three days, while prices for other beans have also risen, exporters said.

United Amara Bank joins ADB trade finance program

United Amara Bank became the second local lender to sign with the Asian Development Bank under its Trade Finance Program (TFP) yesterday, and will receive guarantees for international letters of credit worth up to US$4 million each year