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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cassava exports to China up, but production lags

Cassava exports to China up, but production lags

Chinese-owned Avic International plans to export 8,000 tonnes of dried cassava from Cambodia to the Chinese market this year.

Liv Rong Chun, deputy director of Avic International, said his company plans to raise exports and increase Cambodian farmers’ cassava production.

Cassava is used as raw material in the refinery of ethane fuel, he added.

In August 2011, the Chinese food company inked a deal with Ly Ye Rubber, a domestic agriculture firm, to buy one million tonnes of dry cassava from Cambodia. The company exported the first shipment, roughly 3,000 tonnes, to China in January.

According to Chan Saron, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, there are currently 31 companies listed as exporting cassava to China from Cambodia, but only 17 companies were recognised by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China.

So far, Cambodia has exported about 29,787 tonnes of cassava to China, Saron said.

Chea Kea, a cassava exporter to Thailand from Pailin province, said cassava production was still too low.

During the last five days, prices jumped from 2.1 or 2.2 baht (250 riel) per kilogram for wet cassava, while dry cassava cost 5.6 baht (745 riel) per kilogram on the domestic market. Sales to Thailand stood at 6.4 baht (854 riel) per kilogram, he said.

“Even though the cassava prices jumped, there are still not enough resources for production [to meet the demand],” he said.

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