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Corn sales fall, profits sought in cassava

Corn sales fall, profits sought in cassava

Revenues from Cambodian corn exports fell by 52 per cent last year as farmers scrapped the crop for the more lucrative, but less stable, cassava plant.

The Kingdom exported 35,381 tonnes of corn, worth US$2.2 million, in 2011, down from 86,533 tonnes worth $4.57 million the year before, data from the Ministry of Commerce shows.

By volume, the exports dropped by nearly 60 per cent.

Increased international demand for cassava in 2011 accounted for the decrease, Department of Statistics and Information director Kong Putheara said last week.

“Previously, most farmers grew only corn, but they saw  the cassava market had more potential,” he said.

Despite a 211 per cent increase in cassava export revenues in 2011, instability in international demand for the crop, as well as changing border regulations in Thailand, has led to disappointment for the Kingdom’s new cassava growers this year.

Thai border authorities had banned cassava imports from Cambodia on January 24, leading to a substantial drop in prices, Sam Yin, president of the Malai Trading Company, said early last month.

Without buyers, about 50 per cent of the province’s cassava crop was unharvested as of February 1, he said.

Other cassava growers reported delays in orders from Thai importers.

The Kingdom’s cassava exports were worth $12.4 million last year, up from $4 million in 2010.

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