Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A farmer works in a parched paddy field in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district in 2012. Heng Chivoan

Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

While the Kingdom’s rice exports have been declining for the past five months, industry insiders predict that the year’s total will fall as much as 10 per cent compared to last year.

The claims come as data show that rice exports in the first seven of the year have decreased by more than six per cent compared to the same period last year.

Hun Lak, vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) claimed that a slow start to the year could bring annual numbers down.

“We had a lot of orders in the beginning of the year, but we could not supply on time as we do not have enough paddy in stock,” he said, adding, “Most millers are constrained by limited storage capacities. It will be hard to surpass last year’s export figure.”

Last year, Cambodia exported 635,679 tonnes of rice, which was an increase of more than 17 per cent from the year before, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, over the first seven months of this year, Cambodia exported 297,080 tonnes of rice, which was a 6.3 per cent decline compared to the same period last year.

January and June were the only months this year where rice exports increased from their 2017 totals.

Hean Vanhan, director-general of the general directorate of agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture expected that the total rice export this year would decline around 10 per cent from last year.

“It is the first time that export figures have kept decreasing consecutively like this,” he said, claiming that storage capacity was to blame for the decline.

The country unveiled four new rice storage and drying facilities in July, a move which insiders said will help boost the country’s exports as well as maintain the local price of paddy.

Terms of a massive 250,000-tonne export agreement with Bangladesh have failed to materialise, with insiders further blaming a lack of storage facilities for the inability to meet demand.

Chray Son, deputy director of Capital Food, agreed that the year’s totals would go down, but was more conservative in his estimate. He speculated that the Kingdom would hit the 500,000-tonne mark.

“We still face price challenges with neighbouring markets ... and our storage still limited,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not