Buyers in Myanmar can once again import U.S. corn as a result of quick and diligent work by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) to meet new phytosanitary requirements related to pest risks.
According to USGC, the Myanmar government imposed new pest risk analysis requirements for imported plant-related commodities, including U.S. corn, on Jan. 1, 2017. Under the new directive, the Myanmar Plant Protection Division (PPD) prohibited the import of plant and plant-related products unless the exporting country provided this information, which includes how the country deals with pest outbreaks and is intended to ensure commodity safety.
Myanmar officials granted the U.S. an extension for complying with these requirements, which expired on Aug. 31, 2017. In that time, several U.S. commodity groups, including USGC, worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service and industry partners to put together the documentation needed to ensure that U.S. corn and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) met the technical requirements of the new regulations.
This documentation was accepted, and as a result, Myanmar is once again open to U.S. corn imports, as of Dec. 1, 2017.
“The feed industry views Myanmar as a young Vietnam,” said Manuel Sanchez, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia. “Although smaller than Vietnam, the fundamentals for growth exist, and we need to keep the doors open for U.S. corn and DDGS.”
Myanmar is currently a net corn exporting country, sending grain primarily to China. However, domestic feed consumption is growing alongside the country’s poultry and swine industries. Myanmar has also started importing U.S. DDGS, and USGC is optimistic that these sales represent the beginning of a new and robust market for U.S. farmers.
“Being present in the market and aware of technical deadlines are essential,” Sanchez said. “Addressing these potential barriers proactively ensures that U.S. exporters can participate in future growth opportunities in Myanmar.”