THE Cambodian Rice Millers Association has purchased 380,000 tonnes of paddy over the past seven months for processing, a 10 percent increase on the period a year before, according to association President Phou Puy.
The growth is due to increased financial support from the government through loans from public and private banks, though millers themselves still supply the majority of capital, he said.
“The rice we bought directly from local farmers averaged US$250 per tonne, of which the millers pay 55 percent directly and the rest come from loans,” he said yesterday.
Phou Poy highlighted increased opportunity for exports to Asian and European markets, noting the association’s members had exported over 40,000 tonnes of milled rice this year.
He added that increasing access to capital was the main requirement in boosting the Kingdom’s milled rice exports to one million tonnes by 2015.
Traditionally, much of Cambodia’s paddy was exported to neighbouring countries for processing before being shipped abroad.
“But now a lot of paddy is processed [in Cambodia] as milled rice for export to international markets,” he said.
There has also been a rise in the amount of rice traded between local farmers and millers this year, according to Sov Mann, owner of Battambang- based Sov Mann Rice Mill.
“This year saw millers buying more rice because of a growth in capital and the loans supplied by ACLEDA Bank.”
He noted his business had increased between 15 to 20 percent so far in 2011 compared to the same period last year.
However, a lack of capital to acquire paddy would limit the firm's purchases to about 1,200 tonnes this year, he said.