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Cambodia’s grain: EU demand for local crop still growing

Cambodia’s grain: EU demand for local crop still growing

CAMBODIA’S rice exporters are increasingly taking advantage of duty-free rice exports to the Europian Union, with rice exports increasing 5.3 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.

Rice shipments to the continent totalled 13,120 tonnes worth US$8.13 million in the July to September quarter, from 9,719 tonnes worth US$7.72 million for the previous quarter, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Kong Puttheara, director at the Ministry’s Department for Statistics and Information, said Cambodia was benefiting from lower tariffs granted by the EU’s Everything But Arms initiative.

“We hope shipments will continue to grow, since exporters are becoming more aware of European demand,” he said.

Government policies aimed at increasing paddy production and exports was also driving the increase, he said.

Chan Vuthy, general director of Golden Rice (Cambodia) Company which has exported 10,000 tones of rice to Europe this year, said there was a short-term opportunity for domestic rice producers, but that the challenge was the long haul, and that sustained growth would require a strong reputation for quality.

“Only high-quality rice could be exported to Europe in coming years,” he said.

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