THE Small and Medium Industry Association of Cambodia has agreed to sell 1,348 tonnes of rice worth more than US$500,000 to four European countries and Russia over the next two weeks, the group said Monday.
The association has been contracted to sell 48 tonnes to Germany, 120 tonnes to Latvia, 340 tonnes to Lithuania, 360 tonnes to Poland and 480 tonnes of rice to Russia in a deal worth $567,840, Outh Renne, secretary general of the association, told the Post Monday.
The rice will be supplied from March 27 to April 7 via Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, he added.
“We hope that the association will be able to sign more new contracts, which will open the way for it to export more rice to European markets in the future,” Outh Renne said.
The association hopes this year to export between 7,000 and 10,000 tonnes of rice worth $3.1 million to $4.5 million to European markets, according to an association report. The association exported 144 tonnes of rice to European markets in January and 480 tonnes of rice in February.
Mao Thaura, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, told the Post Monday that an increasing amount of Cambodian rice has been exported to European markets because local producers are now more capable of processing rice and receive tariff deals from the European Union.
The EU began allowing rice imports from Cambodia in August 2009, granting a zero-percent tariff rate.
The tariff break “is a good chance for Cambodian rice to compete with that which is imported into Europe from other countries”, Mao Thaura said.
The Small and Medium Industry Association will hold a meeting in May between European buyers and local rice producers and will continue to raise local rice productivity, Outh Renne said.