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China signs 100,000-tonne rice import agreement

China signs 100,000-tonne rice import agreement

The Chinese government-run China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) will today formally agree to import 100,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia, local officials say.

Representatives from COFCO and Green Trade Co, a Cambodian government-owned agriculture firm, today met in Beijing to sign the agreement, which takes effect this month and is valid for one year.

“Cambodia and China have long been trade partners and the fact that Cambodia is a reliable supplier has built trust for this deal,” Ken Ratha, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce said.

But trust between the two nations might not be the only reason for today’s deal, according to David Van, president of local rice producing firm, Boost Riche Cambodia.

“The South China Sea dispute lately may have also played indirectly a part in China wanting to diversify its rice import base as imports from Vietnam hit a substantial figure. China imported over 66 per cent of its total rice imports from Vietnam in 2013, while only 1 per cent came from Cambodia,” Van said.

Government data show that China imported 7,700 tonnes of Cambodian milled rice in the first six months of year.

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