Commodity prices likely to surge due to fighting in northern Shan State

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Mawlamyine, 3 November

Suspension of all border trade between China and Myanmar might prompt commodity prices to rise dramatically amid ongoing fighting in northern Shan State, economic experts and border traders told Than Lwin Times.

Since October 27, fierce fighting has been going on between the Brotherhood Alliance and the junta army in the northern part of Shan State, where the main China-Myanmar border trade route is located.

As a result of the conflict, border trade between the two countries has been suspended and people in the region are facing a shortage of goods as well as an exorbitant increase in commodity prices.

A border trader said, “The prices of goods can rise unexpectedly because of the fighting, and the prices of agricultural inputs can increase significantly. A bag of rice costs six or seven lakhs at the border. In addition, the border trade suspension may last longer than expected, and the people are likely to face a shortage of goods soon.”

Myanmar imports 75 percent of its basic necessities from China, and domestic prices are expected to climb as a result of the conflict in Northern Shan State.

According to an economist, “armed conflict will drive up commodity prices, which could significantly reduce the import and export sectors.”

Some businessmen are considering importing Chinese goods, which are primarily consumed in Myanmar, via waterways. But, due to the high cost of transportation, such plan is not possible.

Myanmar primarily imports consumer goods, raw materials for construction, electrical equipment, fertilizers, and other items from China.

Myanmar exports aquatic products, such as rice and broken rice, beans, rubber, fruit seedlings, and other agricultural products, to China, but the current fighting has stopped both exports and imports.

China-Myanmar bilateral trade reached 4,400 million US dollars in the five months from April to September of this fiscal year, according to the statement of the junta-run Department of Trade.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo – CJ

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