Cambodia's rice exports roughly doubled in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2012, according to government data released yesterday. But the figures aren’t big enough to meet official goals for 2013.
The numbers show that exports of fragrant rice and ordinary white rice each accounted for about half of the 266,123 tonnes that shipped out from January through September.
The figures are set to fall short of the Cambodian government’s planned 500,000 tonnes in 2013, a goal which in turn represents half of the one million tonnes per year that officials hope to export by 2015.
“Our production is getting better, and our rice is more recognised at the market,” said Kim Savuth, president of the Federation of Cambodian Rice Exporters and head of the company Khmer Food. “I predict that export quantity will reach 350,000 tonnes by the end of this year.”
With 39,568 tonnes of exports, Amru Rice Cambodia was the leading company during the period, followed by Khmer Food and Golden Rice Cambodia, with 35,519 and 23,945 tonnes, respectively.
Poland received 43,375 tonnes, making the Eastern European nation the largest importer of Cambodian rice. France brought in the second-biggest share, followed by trading partners Malaysia, Thailand and the Netherlands.
Van David Vichet, deputy secretary general of the Alliance of Rice Producers and Exporters of Cambodia (ARPEC), said the 500,000-tonne target might be out of reach with so little time left in the year. He explained that, on average, Cambodia exports 30,000 tonnes per month. With only three months left of 2013, the numbers aren’t adding up to 500,000.
“We can reach about 360,000 tonnes, or in the best case we can export 400,000 tonnes by the end of this year,” he said.