Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia rice industry fears, cheers Thai policy

Cambodia rice industry fears, cheers Thai policy

Cambodia rice industry fears, cheers Thai policy

The Thai government’s move to stabilise rice prices for the 2014 harvest season has prompted mixed reactions from local rice industry representatives.

According to Thai media reports, Thailand’s Rice Policy Committee on Friday approved an interest-free loan scheme, which will see that country’s Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives distribute loans to farmers in exchange for them delaying the sale of 2 million tonnes of rice crops.

Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation said yesterday the policy would impact Cambodia negatively when Thailand is forced to sell the held-over stock.

“Thailand’s old stocks of rice have not even been sold off yet,” he said, referring to the ex-Thai government’s state-buying program, which ended early this year and resulted in more than 12.8 million tonnes of Thai rice being stockpiled. “Sooner or later they will have to release the stock pile into global market, which will impact Cambodia.”

Under the Thai scheme, farmers will be loaned 14,400 baht ($443) per tonne of Hom Mali paddy and 11,700 baht ($360) per tonne of glutinous rice held over the upcoming harvest season, from November to February. Farmers will also be granted 1,000 baht ($77) for every tonne of rice, the Bangkok Post reported. The government will provide the loans for up to 90 per cent of Thai farmers’ total rice stock.

Thailand’s government is aiming to increase the price of unmilled white rice to around 8,500 baht (around $263) per tonne, unmilled jasmine rice to around 16,000 baht (around $495) per tonne, and glutinous rice to around 13,000 baht (around $401) per tonne by installing the loan scheme.

But Kunthy, chief executive officer of Battambang Rice Investment Co was more optimistic about the neighbouring nation’s rice industry policy.

“Their [Thailand’s] pricing impacts Cambodia because they are a well-known fragrant rice exporter, while Cambodia is a relative newcomer with lower prices [being] the only thing keeping the Kingdom competitive,” Kunthy said. “I am glad to see their government’s intervening on pricing. It is good for them, while in Cambodia, we have to struggle by ourselves,” Kunthy added.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,