Cambodia sold more than 200 tonnes of fresh mangoes on the Chinese market in the first nine months of this year, as expectations build for a sharp uptick in exports when the harvest season kicks off next month.
The dry season harvest typically takes place in March-April, and the smaller rainy season harvest in October-November.
Ke Monthivuth, the director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Department of Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Office, recalled the Kingdom’s inaugural direct shipment of the fruit at the end of the last harvest season on May 7 – reportedly around 100 tonnes.
Revealing that a total 211 tonnes were directly exported to China in May, Monthivuth told The Post that another 790kg were shipped in end-September, at the top of the rainy season harvest of the Keo Romiet mango variety, adding that more consignments would follow over the next two months.
“In October and November, off-season Keo Romiet mangoes will be harvested for export, so I presume we’ll see a huge increase in fresh mango shipments to China, because we are ready. We cannot, however, estimate how many tonnes, we are waiting to see,” he said.
Cambodia is eager to begin exporting export 500,000 tonnes of fresh Keo Romiet mangoes to China each year, the full amount allowed by the protocol on phytosanitary requirements signed in June last year.
Monthivuth said: “We will be exporting fresh mangoes to China at full capacity in the coming harvest season.
“We’ll see strong growth then, now that we’re fully compliant with the mango export protocol, having set up the phytosanitary, sanitary and packaging infrastructure in accordance with Chinese requirements,” he said.
Hun Lak, CEO of Rich Farm Asia Co Ltd, a local agricultural investor that grows Keo Romiet mangoes in Kampong Speu province, also expects a notable rise in direct exports of the fruit to China as the harvest season rolls on.
“But it all hinges on price negotiations, if the right rates are agreed, I believe Cambodia will export mangoes at a faster pace,” he said.
As of April 26, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) had approved a list of 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories able to export fresh mangoes to China.
The Kingdom exported a total of 163,828.55 tonnes of fresh mangoes in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 251.03 per cent year-on-year, to countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore and Kuwait, according to the ministry.
As of 2020, mango was grown on 130,000ha, of which 91,104ha (70 per cent) were harvested, yielding an average of more than 1.38 million tonnes per season, it reported.