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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Silk producers look to sew up EU market ties

Silk producers look to sew up EU market ties

Silk producers look to sew up EU market ties

120525_07

A woman weaves silk in Roka Korng 1 commune in Kandal province’s Muk Kampoul district last year. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia's silk producers say they must cut costs in order to continue reaching troubled European markets, the primary target for the Kingdom’s sericulture products.

Insiders said Cambodian companies must start producing their own silk for the industry to survive.

Silk craftspeople import some 400 tonnes of silk per year from China then export finished products.

The reduction in price would come directly out of the silk itself, Seung Kimyonn, director of the Cambodian Craft Cooperation, said this week.

Silk producers have already started adding cotton to the products, he said. Seung Kimyonn’s company, which caters to the European market, used a total of two tonnes of silk per year about two years ago.

The amount of silk used in his export products was cut in half last year.

“In the past, I produce products from 100 per cent silk, but now we are making changes in order to maintain the market,” said Seung Kimyonn, who is also a silk craftsman.

International demand for Cambodian craft products have dropped substatially as European purse strings have tightened, the Post reported earlier this year.

Seung Kimyonn’s team is designing products that will blend a significant amount of cotton, which sells for US$4 per kilogramme, compared to $50 for the same amount of silk.

There are other ways to lower the price of the country’s silk, Sisowath Pheanuroth, president of the Advisory Board for Small and Medium Industry Association of Cambodia, said.

Cambodians should reduce their reliance on Chinese silk by producing their own, he said.

“Unless Cambodia can produce silk by itself, there will be challenges for our silk products,” Sisowath Pheanuroth said.

Seung Kimyonn said his company will start to target regional tourist from China and Korea.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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