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Inflation weighs on Kingdom’s rice exports

Inflation weighs on Kingdom’s rice exports

CAMBODIA’S rice export revenues jumped by more than 200 percent on increasing world food prices during the first eight months of the year, according to Ministry of Commerce data.

Price increases, however, drove total exports down.

Cambodia exported US$59.8 million in rice, or 105,452 tonnes, between January and August, up from $19.6 million during the same period last year. Total exports fell about 10 percent from 117,186 tonnes.

Soaring world food prices coupled with debt crises in Europe and the United States accounted for the decrease in Cambodian rice exports, Kong Putheara, head of the Department of Statistics at the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday.

“Rising prices have diminished some new orders, which led to a decline in rice exports,” he said.

“However, the European debt crisis and the current weakness of US growth have reduced people’s incomes [in the West]. As rice prices increased sharply, people turned to alternative items.”

If food prices remained high without financial recovery in Western countries, instability in Cambodian rice exports would continue, Kong Putheara said.

The majority of Cambodia’s rice exports are shipped to Europe and Asia. Last year, the government said it planned to export a million tonnes of rice by 2015.

Ut Rain, the chief executive of rice exporter Megagreen Cambodia, said competitive rice prices in India had slashed exports to Russia, previously a big  buyer of Cambodian rice.

But he said his company had still experienced an increase in demand, although he declined to give a figure to the Post.

Five per cent broken rice traded for $590 a tonne yesterday, nearly $100 higher than 2010 prices.

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