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Cambodian rice popular across Asia

Cambodian milled rice is becoming more popular throughout Asia, particularly in Malaysia, which is the number one importer of milled rice from the Kingdom.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Malaysia imported over 7,000 tonnes of a total 25,700 tonnes exported by Cambodia in January.

Poland is the second-largest importer, importing 5,880 tonnes in the first month of the year, and France the third largest, importing over 4,300 tonnes.

Hean Vanhorn, deputy director-general of the of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and director of the single-window secretariat for facilitating milled rice exports, said though Malaysia ranked highest for milled rice exports, Cambodia could further capitalise on Malaysian demand for fragrant milled rice.

Cambodia needs to diversify its exports to better take advantage of the Malaysian market, Vanhorn added.

But Cambodia also still faces challenges in managing the use of different seeds grown in different areas, he said, adding that officials could not always control the quantity of these unspecified seeds

“According to these figures, we hope we reach our target, but anything can happen in the future,” he said, adding that “rice exports can be affected by many other factors”.

Leading Cambodian rice firms, including Baitang (Kampuchea) Plc, Amru rice (Cambodia) Co, Golden Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Cavifoods and Loran Group, said the rice market outlook was generally optimistic.

Phou Puy, president of Baitang (Kampuchea), said the Asian market is huge for rice exporters, with Malaysia importing from Thailand and Vietnam as well.

“Malaysia imports a lot of rice to supply its market demand from Thailand and Vietnam, and now they also turn to Cambodia because of competitive prices,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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