The depreciation of the Myanmar’s currency Kyat against the US dollar from around K950 per dollar in September to K1035 per dollar by the beginning of December has pushed up domestic fish and fish feed prices, according to the Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF).
For fish like river catfish where 90 percent of production is consumed domestically, the prices have increased to K1,800-1,900 per viss (1.6 kg). The price of the exported carp variety has also jumped from K2,000 per viss to K2,800, said U Win Kyaing, secretary of MFF.
“Normally this is the fish harvest season when the market is flooded with fresh catches but now the prices is rising where rising consumption is part of the reason,” he said.
Although the dollar appreciates, the fish exporters only get around K50 more per viss for their exports as the prices are fixed by advance contracts while they intend to renegotiate the price only when the kyat fluctuation stabilises, he said.
The price of bran, a fish feed, has also increased by about K100 to K340-360 per pound, according to Dr Thet Hmu, chairman of Myanmar Aqua Feed Association.
“We hear that the Chinese are buying bran in Mandalay and Bamaw. If they try to buy the byproduct along with rice, the price will surely rise meaning the regulators need to control this carefully,” he said.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar maritime exports earned $255.7 million as of November 21 in the current fiscal year which is $90.3 million lower compared with $346 million in the same period last year.