Jade exports earn $23m in Q1, show ministry figures

Myanmar earned US$23 million (about K31.5 billion) from jade exports in the first quarter of the fiscal year, up $746,000 over the same period last year, show Ministry of Commerce figures reported by state-run media on July 14.

Despite the fiscal year beginning on April 1, the Global New Light of Myanmar said 2017-2018 showed a “significant, earlier increase in revenue” because the country held a jade emporium in March.

A report on the first quarter figures by China’s state-run Xinhua newsagency said Myanmar exported 11,000 tons of raw jade in 2016-2017, from which it earned $24.6 million.

Most Myanmar jade is exported to China and India and the main production centres are Hpakant and Lone Khin in Kachin State, Hkamti Township in Sagaing Region and Mogok in Mandalay Region.

In a report released in 2014, London-based watchdog Global Witness estimated the value of jade production in Myanmar that year at $31 billion.

China officially imported jade worth about $12 billion in 2014, said the Global Witness report, which alleged that the trade in the precious stone was controlled by military elites, drug lords and crony companies.

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