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Cargo shipments up 16 pct

Containers await shipment at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province in 2011
Containers await shipment at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province in 2011. Hector Bermejo

Cargo shipments up 16 pct

The volume of cargo shipments going through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS), the biggest deep-water port in Cambodia, saw a 16 per cent year-on-year increase in the first nine months of this year, data released by the port on Friday show.

About 2.27 million tonnes of goods were transported via the port over the period, compared to 1.95 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Of the total shipments, the exports made up 594,424 tonnes, compared to 407,578 tonnes in the first nine months of 2012. The import volume climbed to 1.7 million tonnes from 1.5 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Chea Sambath, chief of the PAS planning and marketing department, said yesterday the rise of cargo shipments showed that the country’s growth remains stable despite political deadlock.

“Normally an increase of goods traffic at the port is one part of proving that our economy as well as the regional and global economies are improving,” he said. “In addition, this rise in imports and exports of goods reflects the growth of our economy despite protests by the opposition party.”

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund raised its 2013 growth prediction for Cambodia to seven per cent, up from 6.7 per cent in April. In a recent update, the Asian Development Bank maintained its 7.2 per cent growth prediction for the country.

The port data show that the exports were mostly garments and agricultural products like milled rice, cassava and processed acacia.

Products that Cambodia imported included industrial raw materials and construction raw materials, vehicles and oil.

Lim Bun Heng, president of Loran Import-Export, a leading milled rice exporter, said that the PAS is the main port in Cambodia for long-haul transportation.

“I mostly use the PAS to export milled rice to Europe, the United States or Canada, while Phnom Penh Autonomous Port is used for countries in the region such as Singapore, Malaysia and China.”

He said that over the first nine months, he exported more than 266,000 tonnes, of which 55 per cent went to the EU.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the tonnage of milled rice shipped by Loran Import-Export in the first nine months of the year. The figure, which referred to the total amount of rice shipped by all exporters in Cambodia, not only Loran Import-Export, is 266,000, as opposed to 26,000. The article has been updated to reflect the correct information.

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