Cambodia netted more than $516 million from the export of paddy and milled rice in the first four months of 2022, despite uncertainty brought upon by Covid-19 outbreaks in key markets.
The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) announced that from January to April, the Kingdom exported a total of $516.21 million of paddy and milled rice.
Milled rice exports amounted to 221,138 tonnes – up 14.88 per cent year-on-year – worth $139.57 million, while paddy exports totalled 1,648,474 tonnes valued at $376.64 million.
CRF president Song Saran told The Post that, although milled rice exports increased “significantly” in that period, the price of paddy fell at the beginning of the year.
He said that the price of paddy is likely to improve in the second quarter, with prices projected to rise by “about 10 per cent or more” from first quarter figures due to a higher number of orders from the key markets of China and the EU.
“Growth [in demand from China and the EU will pick up sharply in the second quarter, and we will continue to respond to this growth steadily … as we have stockpiled the type of paddy the market seeks,” he said.
However, he noted that exports to the Chinese market appeared to still be hampered by recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country that has prompted Beijing to impose strict lockdowns in multiple cities.
“We are facing a challenge because China has locked down, which has hit agricultural inputs including fertilisers and pesticides, as well as packaging and other essentials in the supply chain … some markets in the Chinese lockdown areas may be affected, but [we expect this to be] a short-term issue.
The federation will discuss with the Chinese side about how to make exports to their markets smoother,” he said.
Heng Pheng, a rice exporter in northern Battambang province’s Thma Koul district, said that the price of the paddy rice he has sold has risen from over one million to 1.3 million riel ($247 to $321) per tonne since the harvest at the start of the year.
“Overall, paddy at the beginning of the year is often sold at a higher price because there are not many harvesters. But the price may fall slightly in August, when farmers harvest more,” he said.
Figures from the CRF show that 48 companies have exported to 54 markets, key of which were mainland China and Hong Kong at 115,255 tonnes – or 52.12 per cent – of total exports, worth $62.74 million.
Next was the EU at 68,555 tonnes, or 31 per cent, amounting to $51.02 million, while ASEAN member states received 21,876 tonnes, or 9.89 per cent, accounting for $13.90 million. The remaining markets imported 15,452 tonnes, or 6.99 per cent, valued at $11.74 million.