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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rice exports already surpass last year’s total

Rice exports already surpass last year’s total

Cambodia exported about 31,000 tonnes of rice in July, a 40 per cent seasonal increase from the average of 22,000 tonnes for first five months of this year.

Official data show that Cambodia exported 207,000 tonnes from January through July, an amount surpassing the 205,000 tonnes sent in all of 2012.

Rice exports peaked in March at more than 45,000 tonnes, but in April, May and June the numbers settled back into the 22,000-tonne range seen at the start of the year. Last month, demand drove volume up again.

Song Saran, chairman of Amru Rice Cambodia, the largest exporter in the first seven months, told the Post that July and August are always the high season of the year for Cambodian rice exports, as global competitors are coming to the end of their stock.

“The amount of ordinary white rice exports is up in July,” Saran said. “India and Pakistan, ordinary rice suppliers, are coming to the end of their export period so that is why demand of our rice is higher.”

Most of the overseas shipments, or about 60 per cent, went to countries in the European Union, which grants Cambodia duty-free tariffs under its Everything But Arms agreement.

Kim Savuth, president of the Khmer Food Company, the second-largest exporter, said the trade performance bodes well for the rest of 2013.

“The demand in international markets is on the rise, so our exports will increase the rest of the year,” Savuth said.

The Cambodian government plans to export 500,000 tonnes in 2013, 50 per cent of its goal to ship out at least 1 million tonnes per year starting from 2015, according to a government strategy prepared by the Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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