CAMBODIA will spend a further US$2.2 million importing salt from China during the fourth quarter after salt production was cut back this year by excessive bad weather, the president of the Cambodian Salt Production Association told the Post.
The Kingdom has already spent $2.2 million importing 20,000 tonnes from China this year after it became clear in July that local production would not meet annual demand of about 120,000 tonnes, Ly Seng said Sunday.
“We will spend more money to import more salt if local production still cannot meet local consumption demand,” he said.
For the local salt industry in Kampot province, 2009 has been a washout due to early rains that mean only about 30,000 tonnes will be produced, compared to a usual capacity of about 180,000 a year that normally produces a surplus for export, Ly Seng said. The Kingdom has 187 salt producers, he added, with 4,400 hectares of salt flats in production.
This is the first year on record that Cambodia has had to import salt.
Srun Thida, a salt retailer at Old Market in the capital, said she was able to sell imported salt from China at the same price as the Cambodian-produced variety: $142 a tonne.
“We have run out of local salt since the middle of the year because our suppliers said their salt production had been affected by rainfall,” Srun Thida said.
Ly Seng said the Cambodian Salt Production Association has been selling imported salt to wholesalers at $120 per tonne, about $10 more expensive than the $110-per-tonne import price.