Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A farmer works in a parched paddy field in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district in 2012. Heng Chivoan

Experts say year won’t pan out well for rice exports

While the Kingdom’s rice exports have been declining for the past five months, industry insiders predict that the year’s total will fall as much as 10 per cent compared to last year.

The claims come as data show that rice exports in the first seven of the year have decreased by more than six per cent compared to the same period last year.

Hun Lak, vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) claimed that a slow start to the year could bring annual numbers down.

“We had a lot of orders in the beginning of the year, but we could not supply on time as we do not have enough paddy in stock,” he said, adding, “Most millers are constrained by limited storage capacities. It will be hard to surpass last year’s export figure.”

Last year, Cambodia exported 635,679 tonnes of rice, which was an increase of more than 17 per cent from the year before, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, over the first seven months of this year, Cambodia exported 297,080 tonnes of rice, which was a 6.3 per cent decline compared to the same period last year.

January and June were the only months this year where rice exports increased from their 2017 totals.

Hean Vanhan, director-general of the general directorate of agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture expected that the total rice export this year would decline around 10 per cent from last year.

“It is the first time that export figures have kept decreasing consecutively like this,” he said, claiming that storage capacity was to blame for the decline.

The country unveiled four new rice storage and drying facilities in July, a move which insiders said will help boost the country’s exports as well as maintain the local price of paddy.

Terms of a massive 250,000-tonne export agreement with Bangladesh have failed to materialise, with insiders further blaming a lack of storage facilities for the inability to meet demand.

Chray Son, deputy director of Capital Food, agreed that the year’s totals would go down, but was more conservative in his estimate. He speculated that the Kingdom would hit the 500,000-tonne mark.

“We still face price challenges with neighbouring markets ... and our storage still limited,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration