The average price of edible bird’s nest products in Cambodia for the first ten months of 2023 remained the same as in 2022, while the number of swiftlet home preservations and the yields harvested are steadily increasing, according to the Cambodia Swiftlet Federation (CSF). 

Nang Sothy, president of the CSF, stated on November 20 that the edible nest products in the country represent a steady advancement in both the number of nesting homes and the yield collected. 

However, the price in 2023 mirrors that of the previous year, with uncleaned nests costing between $550-680 per kilogramme with cleaned ones ranging from $1,500 to $3,500, depending on the level of cleaning.

He noted that despite stable prices, the trend of investment in white-nest swiftlet farming homes in the country is increasing continually due to expectations in the export market, particularly China.

“For the price of edible bird’s nest this year, it’s about the same as last year, but the data collected shows an increase in yield of around 20 to 25 per cent every year. The growth is due to the larger number of [nesting facilities],” he said. 

According to Sothy, there are currently between 3,500-5,000 swiftlet homes in the country, yielding about 4.5 tonnes each month. Approximately 80 per cent of the harvested produce is exported. 

He noted that prices would rise higher if China officially allows Cambodia to export the nests. Although country’s nest products are not yet officially licensed for export to China, there are some unofficial sales, in addition to exports to Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

During the “Cambodian Edible Bird’s Nest Business Forum” held in October, Samheng Bora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, stated that the business in swiftlet production is growing steadily through the construction of farming homes across the country, including Phnom Penh. 

He emphasised the importance of paying close attention to quality to ensure a stable supply and to meet export requirements for international markets. 

“The edible bird’s nest sector provides employment to people building the [cultivation facilities], cleaning the nests, processing, transporting and other work in the production chain. The sector has significantly contributed to the development of the family, community and national economies,” he said.

Zhong Jie, economic and trade advisor at the Chinese embassy noted that the relevant departments of China and Cambodia are actively negotiating an agreement to export Cambodian nests to China. 

“We look forward to importing high-quality Cambodian edible bird’s nest into the Chinese market. China remains Cambodia’s largest trading partner, and Cambodia’s high-quality agricultural products, such as milled rice, bananas, longans, coconuts and other products, have been successfully exported to China,” she said.