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Chinese imports are the salt of the Earth

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Local salt farms unable to satisfy local demand. afp

Chinese imports are the salt of the Earth

Cambodia will ink an agreement with China next week to import 30,000 tonnes of salt by the end of November, said co-president of the Kep-Kampot Salt Producers Community (KKSPC) Ly Sang.

Sang told The Post on Monday that the KKSPC will receive Ministry of Industry and Handicraft approval this week to import salt from China.

He said KKSPC representatives will fly to China and sign an agreement on October 25 for 30,000 tonnes of salt to be imported to the Kingdom by the end of November.

“We already got the ministry’s approval to import the 30,000 tonnes. This is our second time importing salt,” he said.

The country previously spent $2.2 million on 20,000 tonnes of salt from China in 2009.

Local demand

The KKSPC said earlier this year that the country could not produce enough salt to meet local demand due to climate change.

Sang said excess rain is ruining the salt industry and that producers could not collect enough salt from their fields, forcing the industry to import it a second time.

“We decide to choose China again, because it is natural and the quality is the same as our salt. We need to import quality salt to meet local consumption,” he said.

Sang said that the price will be released on the day of the signing.

There are more than 4,600ha of salt marshes across Kampot and Kep provinces farmed by some 200 families with harvest season lasting from January into late April.

The KKSPC’s production data shows that 33,000 tonnes of salt were produced in the two provinces last year and more than 100,000 tonnes in 2016.

The Kingdom’s depleting salt stockpiles currently contain approximately 8,000 tonnes of salt, forcing the market price to rise to $75 per tonne from $52 last year.

Cambodia’s salt industry generated total revenues of about $22 million last year, the ministry’s data indicated.

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