> Market Intelligence
By Bernardette Sto. Domingo •
3 February 2020
Pearl producers from Myanmar are bent on offering more exceptional pearls to further strengthen their international presence.
Golden South Sea pearls from Myanmar
Myanmar is focusing on the quality, rather than the quantity, of the pearls it is producing
State-owned Myanmar Pearl Enterprise (MPE) is increasing its production of high-quality pearls in 2020 and beyond to attract more buyers and further raise its profile in the international scene.
Min Min Oo, managing director of MPE, said Myanmar pearls are steadily making waves globally based on latest government data.
Pearl production rose to 568,320.27 mommes in 2018-2019, up 33.8 percent from 424,628.01 mommes in 2014-2015. From 2014, Myanmar has produced almost four million pieces of pearls equivalent to 2.5 million mommes.
Exports are also on the upswing. Government data revealed that South Sea pearl shipments from Myanmar were 114.55 percent higher at 513,474.37 mommes in 2018-2019 from 239,324.08 mommes in 2014-2015.
Established in 1963, MPE is a government-owned institution that produces South Sea pearls in a range of quality, lustre, nacre thickness, size, colour and shape. MPE is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
According to Min Min Oo, Myanmar's pearling industry also faces obstacles alongside business opportunities.
Major challenges include a scarcity in pearl farm technicians as a result of a more urbanised society as well as weather changes that affect the oyster survival rate. A weaker global pearl market also poses a problem for Myanmar's pearl sector.
He also emphasised the importance of boosting Myanmar's participation in overseas pearl auctions where international producers sell their high-quality pearls. The country needs to deliver excellent-grade pearls to remain competitive and further expand its customer portfolio, the MPE official noted.