The price of Cambodian milled rice on the international market has seen a slight uptick in the first quarter of this year from end-2020.
The premium “Malys Angkor” brand of fragrant rice is worth $825 per tonne, up $9 or 1.10 per cent from $816 in December, according to a price list compiled by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) on March 23.
The premium soft-cooking white rice variety costs $585 per tonne, up $17 or 2.99 per cent from $568, and premium-quality organic parboiled rice was $585 per tonne, up $10 or 1.74 per cent from $575.
SKO cultivars of standard-fragrant rice fetch $765 per tonne, up $9 or 1.19 per cent from $756, while CRF listed premium-quality organic white rice as $920 per tonne without providing an earlier price for comparison.
Chan Pich, general manager of rice miller and exporter Signatures of Asia Co Ltd, noted that price gains were mild across the board.
“The price of milled rice on the international market has remained stable due to weak orders, which even seem to be declining somewhat,” he told The Post.
He noted, however, that his company’s month-to-date exports to Europe have reached 2,000 tonnes, or double what they were in the full-month of February.
“In my personal opinion, I think Cambodia’s milled-rice exports will fail to outperform last year’s – they’ll be on par though,” he said.
According to Pich, it now costs $4,000-$5,000 to ship a 20-foot container – the standard for milled-rice exports – to Europe, surging $800-$1,000 from end-2020.
According to CRF data, the Kingdom exported 76,222 tonnes of milled rice worth $64.53 million in January-February, down 44.16 per cent on a yearly basis, a drop the federation blamed squarely on the “nearly 500 per cent” jump in shipping costs from 2019 levels.
Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau remained the leading market for Cambodian milled rice in the first two months of 2021, absorbing 37,630 tonnes or a market share of 49.37 per cent.
Shipments to 18 of the EU’s 27 nations, ASEAN and other destinations – including Gabon, Australia, the UK and New Zealand – reached 18,996 tonnes, 6,229 tonnes and 13,367 tonnes, respectively, accounting for 24.91 per cent, eight per cent and 18 per cent of total milled-rice exports for the period.
Last year, the Kingdom exported 690,829 tonnes of milled rice worth nearly $539 million, marking an 11.40 per cent surge in volume from 2019, according to CRF. Chinese-bound shipments of the commodity weighed in at 289,439 tonnes, accounting for 41.90 per cent.