Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government acts on rice price

Government acts on rice price

Government acts on rice price

Villagers push bicycles along a submerged road that passes through flooded rice paddies in Chong Kroch village, in Prey Veng province’s Pea Reang district, earlier this month.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the state-owned Rural Development Bank to finance a release of rice stock in order to quell worries over rapidly climbing prices.

Sun Kunthor, general director of Rural Development Bank, said yesterday that Hun Sen asked the bank on Friday to work closely with the Cambodian Rice Millers Association in supplying cheap rice to the market. Severe flooding in many of the Kingdom’s rice-producing regions has been blamed for the rising price.

The price of low-quality rice stood at about US$670 per tonne last week, up from a reported $570 per tonne in August. Financing from the Rural Development Bank brought the price down yesterday to about $560 per tonne, according to government-run stores in Phnom Penh.

High-quality rice – which is mainly exported – still sold at about $1,000 per tonne yesterday, up from a reported $860 in August.

The government will subsidies the rice until prices fall to pre-flood levels, Sun Kunthor said.

“We are trying to curb the price and prioritize domestic stability. The government rice sales will last until the price goes down. It is a temporary method of prevention,” he said.

Rice vendors and millers reported rice shortages last week. Soy Vannak, a 56-year-old vender who sells rice in front of Phnom Penh Station, said on Wednesday that she simply could not buy rice from a mill in Battambang.”

“I called [the miller] but they didn’t answer and when I got through I pleaded with them to no avail,” she said.

Seang Fo, a rice millers in Battambang, claimed that most of the rice had been sold to Thailand and Vietnam.

Yan Saing Koma, President of Cambodian Center for the Study and Development of Agriculture supported the government move to lower the price of rice during a time of emergency but warned of distorting supply signals.

“This type of intervention must also be cautious. If done too strongly it can affect the free market mechanism,” Yan Saing Koma said. “But because this is food I think it is right to stop the price from increasing so much.”

He added that the government should avoid running low on domestic demand during a time when the future supply is jeopardised by floods.

Floods have destroyed about 5.2 per cent of the country’s paddy fields and another 13 per cent could vanish if water levels do not recede, the National Committee for Disaster Management said last week.

As of last week, the committee estimated more than $100 million in flood damages.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states