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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Another trial run of rice-export to China

Another trial run of rice-export to China

120601_07

Farmers transplant rice seedlings in paddy fields on the outskirts of Phnom Penh earlier this year. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Local rice miller Mega Green said it planned to export about 240 tons of milled rice to the Chinese market by the end of June – a second round of test exports to Cambodia’s northern neighbour.

Renne Outh, owner of Mega Green Imex Cambodia, told the Post yesterday that he signed an agreement with a Chinese company in Shanghai during a business trip there last week.

“I already signed an export agreement with a Chinese company’s Shanghai office. Now, we are working on some paperwork with [the Chinese inspection bureau] to approve us on the certification of the quality of the export to them,” he said.

The shipment would be Mega Green’s first trial to China, and would consists of just 10 containers – a  container holds 24 tons of milled rice, said Outh Renne. “We will start to export them by the end of June – it is just a test export, because they want us to eventually export 200 containers per month.”

“Now we are milling our paddy and preparing packaging for them,” he added.

The Post reported last week that China approved local rice miller Golden Rice to export milled rice to China. A trial run the company sent to China earlier this year was refused by the Chinese government upon arrival in the southern port of Shenzhen.

Chan Tong Yves, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, said the ministry also has a quality testing laboratory, but it does not comply with the standards for exporting milled rice.

“Now, if we want to export to them [China], we have to get their service on testing and inspect the quality of our products,” he said. “What is important is that we need to get ratified by the Chinese side. If they accept and buy our milled rice, it sounds great.”

Cham Prasidh, Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce, told the Post on Tuesday that China offered $1 million to Cambodia to upgrade its testing laboratory so it complies with Chinese standards.

“We have agreed with China for a long time on the export of milled rice with no duty, but the barrier for us is the quality standards issue,” he said.  

Outh Renne said that for the Chinese market, Cambodia can sell medium-grain sized rice at $510 per ton and long-grain at $425 per ton – but the Chinese market prefers medium sized, which differs from the European market, which prefers long-grain rice.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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