Local rice miller and exporter Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd is looking forward to increasing fragrant rice exports to Australia, a market with high growth potential for aromatic rice.

According to Amru Rice, the company plans to export two containers of its own fragrant rice out of 10 containers of rice ordered by Australian buyers during a Cambodia agrifood study tour, organised by Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED), early June 2023.

The company views the export development as a “significant milestone”, noting that it was honoured to have the opportunity to learn about Australia’s advanced agricultural practices and key aspects of its agrifood market during the study tour.

It also had the opportunity to showcase its organic products to buyers and others in the industry.

“With the knowledge, experience and opportunity gained from the study tour, Amru Rice has fostered a strategy and action plan to prepare for market expansion and increase the efficiency of our sustainable agricultural practices, which is not only beneficial to the country and our company, but also the global food system,” it stated.

Song Saran, president and CEO of Amru Rice told The Post on September 10 that Australia is one of the biggest markets for fragrant rice as “we have been exporting there”.

“Now, we are expanding our exports into the market,” he said, however, he is not able to comment on the upcoming export as talks are still in progress.

Speaking to The Post on Sept 10, Lun Yeng, secretary-general of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) said so far, Cambodia has exported around 30,000 tonnes of fragrant rice per year to Australia. “We see a huge potential for further growth in the market.”

In the first half of this year, some $807.9 million worth of milled and paddy rice was formally exported, up 31.2 per cent from the same time in 2022. Milled rice alone made up 28.4 per cent of the total export, CRF data showed.

Between January and June, the Kingdom shipped 329,633 tonnes of milled rice worth $229.2 million to 52 countries and territories via 50 exporters, which accounts for 47.1 per cent of the total 700,000 tonnes’ target for 2023.

Broken down by variety of milled rice in terms of tonnage, fragrant represented the lion’s share at 85.1 per cent, followed by long-grain white rice (11.3 per cent), parboiled rice (2.4 per cent), organic rice (1.0 per cent) and short-grain white rice (0.1 per cent).

By export destination, two Greater China markets imported the most at 138,364 tonnes worth $89 million, followed by 25 EU countries (122,117 tonnes; $86.7 million), four ASEAN nations (28,110 tonnes; $18.9 million). The remaining 21 markets bought 41,042 tonnes to the tune of $34.7 million.

At the same time, Cambodia exported 2.2 million tonnes of paddy rice worth $578.7 million – exclusively to neighbouring countries.