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Corn industry maintains hope for rebound amid plummeting prices

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Corn silo owner Chan Muoy said red corn production in Battambang province had fallen by some 30 per cent last year due to insufficient rainfall and pest damage. HENG CHIVOAN

Corn industry maintains hope for rebound amid plummeting prices

Total corn exports dropped by more than 40 per cent on 2018 due to last year’s drought and pest damage, industry insiders said.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries data showed that last year the Kingdom exported 119,993 tonnes of red corn – down 41.23 per cent on 2018’s 204,184 tonnes.

The exports were mostly to Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan, according to the data.

Corn grower Sok Leng told The Post from Battambang province’s Sampov Loun district that her harvests had halved from 2018 – down to slightly more than 10 tonnes last year from more than 20 tonnes.

“Some farmers gave up on the crop last year due to the sharp decrease in yield and prices,” she said. However, she said she continued to grow the crop as she was hopeful of a rebound this year.

Most of the Kingdom’s red corn is grown Battambang, Pailin, Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum provinces. The crop is planted biannually, with the first harvest taking place from late June to August and the second from late October to December.

Corn silo owner Chan Muoy said red corn production in Battambang province had fallen by some 30 per cent last year due to insufficient rainfall and pest damage.

“Last year, my sales fell by around 30 per cent and the quality also decreased,” she said.

She said the price of red corn remained stable from 2018, with whole corn prices between 540 riel and 660 riel per kilogramme, while kernel prices ranged from 940 riel to 1,080 riel.

According to Ministry of Agriculture data, 106,682 tonnes of red corn was exported in 2014, 56,422 in 2015, 70,487 in 2016 and 168,685 in 2017.

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