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Baitang in rice export deal with Italian firm

Baitang in rice export deal with Italian firm

BAITANG Kampuchea Plc has signed an agreement to sell 562 tonnes of rice worth nearly US$500,000 to Italy-based PHAM Distribution SAL.

“Under this agreement, we hope that the company will gain more experience in supplying rice to foreign partners,” Ny Lyheng, deputy director general of Baitang Kampuchea, told the Post Monday.

According to the agreement, signed by senior representatives on both sides Friday, Baitang Kampuchea will start supplying rice in mid-April at $880 per tonne.

Un Buntha, deputy director general of the Domestic Trade Department, said Monday that domestic companies have been selling rice at scales too small for the international market, though that may be changing.

“I think that these Cambodian companies will be able to export tens of thousands of tonnes of rice from next year because they have been preparing production lines for many years in an attempt to support large-scale export,” he said.

Ny Lyheng said his company can only export a small amount because Cambodian rice isn’t well-known internationally.

“We hope that the company will be able to find buyers who can buy rice in larger amounts soon,” he said.

Companies from Australia and France are considering importing rice from Cambodia, but they have not yet reached any formal agreements, he added.

Baitang Kampuchea signed deals in January with 350 local rice mills from 10 rice-producing provinces to band together and export rice in large quantities.

Cambodia’s rice surplus for export is estimated at 3 million tonnes per year, worth about $13 million, with Europe the biggest buyer in recent years.

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