PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s exports of milled rice continue to increase, with China still the biggest importer of Cambodian grain.
Rice is exported to nearly 70 countries.
China remains the largest buyer, taking more than 120,000 tonnes from January to September this year, followed by France (over 50,000 tonnes) and Poland (35,000 tonnes), according to the latest report from the secretariat of the One Window Service for Rice Export Formality.
The report says from January to September 2017 Cambodia exported 421,966 tonnes of milled rice, an increase of 16.70% on the 361,505 tonnes exported in the same period last year.
Rice shipments are projected to total 600,000 tonnes this year.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, at a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Laos in September last year, agreed to double China’s annual purchase of 100,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice to 200,000 tonnes, starting from next year,
Cambodia set to meet the 200,000 tonnes quot to China by the end of this year, while Beijing plans to increase imports to 300,000 tonnes of rice next year, the Khmer Times reported.
Hean Vanhan, the director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ General Directorate of Agriculture, said exports were expected to continue rising.
“We have a target of one million tonnes to export, so we have to seek and open more markets,” he said. “We cannot depend on China’s market alone.”
Based on current growth, Cambodia will reach 600,000 tonnes of exported milled rice in 2017, Mr Vanhan said.
Hun Lak, the vice-president of the Cambodian Rice Federation, said the figure of 200,000 tonnes to China will be reached.
“It may even be over the set quota, because from July on is the rainy season and rice harvests and prices will increase, which will benefit farmers and rice millers,” he said.
In 2016, Cambodia exported about 542,144 tonnes of rice to international markets. The government plans to boost rice exports to one million tonnes per year.
Source : Bangkok Post