Cambodia has been invited by the Philippines to bid for a 250,000 tonne rice tender in June to boost the latter’s rice buffer stock during the lean months of July to September.
Philippines’ National Food Authority has been tasked with issuing a tender in June for the import of 25 per cent broken rice via a government-to-government deal, with delivery expected to be between
July and August. Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia are eligible for this tender as they already have import contracts with the Philippines.
Song Saran, chairman of Amru Rice (Cambodia), confirmed the invitation to bid for the Filipino rice tender but said that the Kingdom was not ready to partake in the bidding currently.
“In my opinion, Cambodia cannot join the tender this year. Cambodia needs at least two years to have enough capacity to compete and supply to the Philippines,” he said.
He said several pressing issues, like the lack of paddy rice stock, high production costs and transportation fees, need to be addressed before Cambodia can make a competitive bid.
“The Philippines’ demand is for supply of a big volume in a short period,” he said. “Cambodia does not have enough paddy rice to mill and export to the Philippines.”
David Van, adviser to the Cambodia Rice Federation, told the Post in early April that Cambodian agricultural products had good potential in the Philippines. However, he added that there were challenges to increasing exports.
“Cambodia could eventually succeed in bidding for future Filipino rice tenders, should the tenders be segregated into smaller orders tonnage wise. But we still need to improve our shipping costs and services [directly] to Filipino ports or via transshipment in Vietnam,” Van said.