Cambodia exported 203,485 tonnes of seven major cash crops last month, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The ministry lists these as milled rice, natural rubber, corn, cashew nuts, peppercorn, as well as fresh bananas, chillies and mangoes.

The Kingdom shipped out 34,273 tonnes of milled rice worth $30.76 million to 28 international markets, down 32.07 tonnes or 0.094 per cent from January last year.

Rubber product exports reached 52,711 tonnes last month, up nine per cent year-on-year, worth $84.49 million, with the average price of the commodity averaging about $1,603 per tonne, marking a $232 year-on-year climb.

The going-rate for rubber from smaller-scale traders or farmers last month was in the range of 5,500-5,900 riel ($1.35-$1.45) per kilogramme for 100 per cent dry rubber content (DRC 100%) latex and 2,300-2,850 riel for lump latex (DRC 50%).

Cambodia also sold 44,471 tonnes of corn, 40,956 tonnes of fresh bananas, 16,252 tonnes of fresh chillies, 11,637 tonnes of fresh mangoes, 3,183 tonnes of cashews nuts and two tonnes of peppercorn.

In Lai Huot, owner of the Madam Huot cashew nut processing cottage industry in southwestern Kampong Thom province’s Kampong Svay district, told The Post that her business was ploughing on to fulfil Top Planning Japan Co Ltd’s 15-tonne order of finished product.

She said Madam Huot launched its first cashew processing plant late in December, investing $200,000 in a joint venture with the Japanese company.

“We’ve been on the trot processing cashew nuts to supply the company on time as spelled out in the contract, which is to kick in from February. We’re pretty stoked that the Japanese firm has committed to buy finished cashew nuts from us and export them to its market,” Lay Huot said.

Recent adverse weather conditions has pushed the harvest season to mid-March, she said, adding that the nuts had only just begun to sprout at most plantations.

Cashew nuts now command wholesale prices in the region of $1,500 per tonne, on par with last year, she said. “Fingers crossed that the price of cashew nuts from this year’s harvest will be sounder than last year given that the market seems to have perked up a little bit earlier in the year.”

Cambodian Pepper and Spices Federation president Mak Ny told The Post that the price of peppercorn without geographical indication (GI) status had registered a year-on-year rise, from 8,000 riel at the beginning of last year to 10,000 riel now.

He said prices of the fruit has seen a rebound on the back of muted production in Vietnam and dwindling global stockpiles, which has ratcheted up demand for peppercorn.

“Time after time, we still prefer our customers to be direct ones, rather than relying on the Vietnamese market,” Ny said.

He added that German exporter Fuchs (Cambodia) Co Ltd this year upped their annual order of peppercorn from federation members from 800 to 1,000 tonnes.

“I remain optimistic that Cambodian pepper will persevere in its important role of supplying the international market, in terms of quality and price, and I believe that this year’s pepper prices will carry on rising,” he said.

Cambodia exported 8.55 million tonnes of six major cash crops, through formal and informal channels, worth more than $2.32 billion last year as of December 15, according to agriculture minister Veng Sakhon.

In a December 24 post on his official Facebook page, the minister listed the crops as cassava, cashew nuts, mangoes, yellow bananas, peppercorn and Pailin longan.