Cambodiann crocodile farmers have blamed the falling price of the reptile on flooding, which they say has turned away Thai and Vietnamese buyers – the market’s cornerstone.
Prices for young crocodiles have dropped 25 per cent since August, Kandal breeder Kaing Sarin said.
His reptiles fetched US$20 two months earlier but prices this month have hit about $15 per head and continue to fall, he said.
Flooding has deterred buyers, who largely come to Cambodia from Thailand and Vietnam to supply crocodile farms in their countries, Kaing Sarin said.
“[The market] has been impacted during this period. There are no buyers because there is flooding everywhere,” he claimed, adding that prices are now in the hands of the buyers.
Siem Reap-based crocodile farmer Khouy Chhin agreed. Inconvenient travel and transportation have thinned out buyers, leaving the market swarming with young crocodiles, he said.
Crocodile farms in Thailand and Vietnam, which commonly raise young Cambodian crocodiles to a larger weight, have been inundated with flood waters as well, he said, lowering further the prospects for the domestic business.
The price for a 35-centimetre crocodiles was $15 as of Wednesday, Khouy Chhin said. Crocodiles over 40 centimetres fetched $16.
Flooding has only added to the woes of the crocodile farmers, Khouy Chhin said. Prices on his farm have dropped from $27 earlier this year.
Cambodia exports some 200,000 crocodiles to Vietnam and Thailand each year, generating around $4 million in the trade, Fisheries Administration director general Nao Thouk told the Post in August. At that
time, one crocodile sold for $20.
Nao Thouk could not be reached for comment yesterday.