Exports of Cambodian unpolished rice to Thailand are increasing, and the trend is promising if the Thai government continues its intervention policy to guarantee the minimum paddy price for their farmers, industry insiders said.
Reuters reported recently that Thailand’s government has pledged to renew its rice buying scheme, which started in October 2011.
Lim Bunheng, president and CEO of rice miller Loran Group, said he had seen increasing exports of milled rice from Cambodia to Thailand, mostly in a semi-final state. He said it is not polished or packaged but packed into bags that go to Thailand for the finishing process.
“Some Thai traders have increased their buying of Cambodia unpolished rice and do further processing in their country,” said Lim Bunheng, “They might find our milled rice price more competitive because rice millers here can buy paddy at lower prices.”
Government figures show that in the first four months of this year, Cambodian milled rice exports to Thailand reached 14,250 tonnes, while total Cambodian overseas exports was 118,504 tonnes.
During that period, Lim Bunheng said, the Thai rice mortgage program will not influence Cambodia’s rice industry, but exports to Thailand would increase as Cambodian milled rice could see more demand from Thai traders.
Cambodian commerce minister Cham Prasidh said yesterday that it is not going to change Cambodia’s rice industry. However, “when the price in Thailand increases, it makes prices on international markets increase as well”, he said. “Cambodian farmers will benefit from this increase.”