Myanmar tightens fuel, cooking oil imports while ensuring supply

Myanmar tightens fuel, cooking oil imports while ensuring supply
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(July 1): Myanmar said it’s making the importation of fuel and cooking oil more stringent to prevent the trade balance from reverting back into a deficit.

“We systematically supervise imports of cooking oil and fuel,” Major General Zaw Min Tun, lead spokesman for the State Administration Council, said in a briefing on Friday. “We need to reduce imports of cooking oil while working to improve domestic production given plenty of resources in our country.”

The country’s trade balance has swung into a surplus in the past months after years of deficits, Zaw Min Tun said. Last month, the military junta banned car imports to support Myanmar’s dwindling foreign-currency reserves that have been under pressure. Vehicle importation for public transportation is exempted from the ban.

Myanmar’s cooking oil consumption is “quite high” and there’s a need to curb it also for health reasons, Zaw Min Tun said.

The junta is ensuring sufficient supply of cooking oil and fuel, he said. A 13-member committee is also supervising local distribution of fuel and in June, Myanmar received additional supply. “So we now have enough fuel for the whole country for a certain period of time,” he said.