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Phnom Penh Port volume up by a third

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Containers are loaded at Phnom Penh Autonomous port. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

The volume of cargo passing through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port increased by 34 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period last year, thanks largely to a huge number of exports destined for China, a senior port official said yesterday.

The volume of cargo passing through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port increased by 34 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period last year, thanks largely to a huge number of exports destined for China, a senior port official said yesterday.

From January to March this year, the state-owned port – Cambodia’s second largest – received 24,677 twenty-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs (standard- sized containers), up 34 per cent from 18,450 TEUs over the same period last year.

“The boost in demand makes goods trafficked through the port increase,” said Eang Vengsun, the port’s deputy director general. “The increasing export of agricultural products includes cassava and milled rice to China, and makes the port more active.”

The bulk of exports moving through the port are garments and agricultural products, according to Vengsun. Major imports include construction materials, raw materials for the garment industry, agricultural machinery and consumer products.

Song Saran, chief executive and president of Amru Rice (Cambodia), one of the Kingdom’s major milled rice exporters, said increasing demand from China was responsible for most of the port’s activity.

“A big jump in milled rice exports to China in the first quarter this year is a huge contribution to the rapid growth of shipping movement in Phnom Penh Autonomous Port,” Saran said.

He added that all his exports bound for China go through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.

According to the figures for the first three months of this year, Cambodia exported 8,754 tonnes of milled rice to China, Cambodia’s fifth-largest milled rice importer during the period.

In January, the port inaugurated a new $28 million container terminal financed by the Chinese government. Located in Kien Svay district of Kandal province, the terminal is about 30 kilometres from the existing port in Phnom Penh.

The port is currently preparing for an initial public offering to list on the Cambodian stock exchange.

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