That dollar amount results from a 2.3% increase from $16.7 billion in exports sold during 2018.
Year over year, the value of Myanmar’s exported goods rose 12.8% from $15.1 billion in 2021.
Note that Burma is another name often used to refer to Myanmar.
The top 5 most valuable exports from Myanmar are petroleum gases, dried shelled vegetables, rice, unknitted and non-crocheted men’s suits or trousers, then unknitted and non-crocheted women’s coats and jackets. Added together, Myanmar’s 5 major exports accounted for 44.1% of the country’s overall shipments by value.
Main Customers for Myanmar’s Exported Products
The latest available country-specific data shows that 82.2% of products exported from Myanmar were bought by importers in: Thailand (22.5% of the Burmese total), mainland China (21.6%), Japan (7.1%), India (5.3%), United States of America (4.5%), Germany (4%), United Kingdom (3.65%), Spain (3.64%), Netherlands (3.2%), Poland (2.8%), Belgium (2.1%) and South Korea (2%).
From a continental perspective, 68.3% of Myanmar’s exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 25.4% were sold to importers in Europe. Myanmar shipped another 5.2% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (0.6%), Latin America (0.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia.
Myanmar’s population in 2022 was 53.9 million people, resulting in an average $320 in exported goods per resident. That dollar metric exceeds the average $285 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Myanmar’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value global shipments from Myanmar during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Myanmar.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$4.0 billion (23.5% of total exports)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $3.6 billion (20.9%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2 billion (11.6%)
- Vegetables: $1.57 billion (9.2%)
- Cereals: $1.45 billion (8.5%)
- Fish: $731.4 million (4.3%)
- Footwear: $617.4 million (3.6%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $447.5 million (2.6%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $300.1 million (1.8%)
- Fruits, nuts: $273.5 million (1.6%)
Myanmar’s top 10 exports accounted for 87.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Footwear represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 61.5% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was unknitted and non-crocheted clothing or accessories propelled by a 43.4% upturn compared to 2021.
Myanmar’s shipments of knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 43%.
The severest decliner among Myanmar’s top 10 export categories was fruits and nuts, pulled down by a-39.5% year-over-year downturn.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, petroleum gases represent Myanmar’s most valuable exported product accounting for 23% of the country’s total. In second place were dried shelled vegetables (8.6%) trailed by rice (4.6%), unknitted and non-crocheted men’s suits or trousers (4%), unknitted and non-crocheted women’s coats and jackets (also 4%), unknitted and non-crocheted women’s clothing (3.9%), corn (also 3.9%), knitted or crocheted jerseys and pullovers (3.6%), unknitted and non-crocheted men’s coats and jackets (2.9%), then knitted or crocheted women’s clothing (2.3%).
Products Generating Myanmar’s Largest Trade Surpluses
The following types of Burmese product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): US$3.6 billion (Up by 43.3% since 2021)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2 billion (Up by 43.4%)
- Vegetables: $1.6 billion (Up by 7%)
- Cereals: $1.3 billion (Up by 18.1%)
- Fish: $715.2 million (Down by -1.4%)
- Footwear: $546 million (Up by 66.4%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $339.6 million (Down by -9.4%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $259.1 million (Up by 4.8%)
- Fruits, nuts: $254.4 million (Down by -40.1%)
- Oil seeds: $223.9 million (Down by -57.2%)
Myanmar has highly positive net exports in the international trade of clothing and accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Myanmar’s strong competitive advantages particularly under clothing and accessories product categories–and notably unknitted or non-crocheted goods.
Products Causing Myanmar’s Worst Trade Deficits
Myanmar racked up an overall -US$318.8 million trade deficit for 2022, reversing an $822.8 million in trade surplus in 2021.
Below are exports from Myanmar that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Myanmar’s goods trail Burmese importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1.2 billion (Reversing a $304.1 million surplus in 2021)
- Manmade staple fibers: -$783.5 million (Up by 14.7% from 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$757.5 million (Down by -30.9%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$716.7 million (Down by -21.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$649 million (Up by 13.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$603.9 million (Up by 13.2%)
- Fertilizers: -$586.8 million (Up by 50.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$563.8 million (Up by 1%)
- Manmade filaments: -$520.4 million (Up by 194.9%)
- Iron, steel: -$517 million (Up by 144.6%)
Myanmar has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits, particularly for refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
Myanma Export Companies
Not one Myanma corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Myanmar. Selected examples are shown below:
- Aeon Display and Security System (display and security systems)
- Asia World (conglomerate including imports/exports)
- Htoo Group of Companies (holding firm including wood exports)
- Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (oil, gas)
- Myanmar Distribution Group (consumer goods)
- Myint & Associates (industrial transportation)
- Red Link Communications (telecommunications)
- Shan Star (automobiles)
In macroeconomic terms, Myanmar’s total exported goods represent 7.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($218.3 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 exceeds the 6.5% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Myanmar’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Myanmar’s unemployment rate averaged 1.8% at the end of 2021, down from an average 2.2% for 2019 according to Trading Economics.
Myanmar’s capital city is Nay Pyi Taw.
See also Myanmar’s Top 10 Imports, Thailand’s Top Trading Partners, Japan’s Top Trading Partners, India’s Top Trading Partners, Malaysia’s Top Trading Partners and Poland’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook East Asia/Southeast Asia: Burma. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Forbes 2022 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 4, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Myanmar. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Wikipedia, Myanmar. Accessed on June 4, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 4, 2023