Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom set to import 50K tonnes of salt amid lacklustre production

Kingdom set to import 50K tonnes of salt amid lacklustre production

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Salt fields just west of Kampot train station in Kampot town’s Kraing Ampil commune. Hin Pisei

Kingdom set to import 50K tonnes of salt amid lacklustre production

Cambodia is set to import about 50,000 tonnes of salt to supply domestic demand this year, as its production accounted for only 30 per cent, according to the Salt Producers Community of Kampot-Kep (SPCKK).

This will be the second consecutive year of salt shortages and the third year overall since the Kingdom first imported salt in 2009, from China.

The Kingdom’s total area under salt production is more than 4,500ha, exclusively in Kampot and Kep provinces. This year’s production has yielded a mere 30,000 tonnes, as the local market currently demands between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes per year.

One hectare of salt fields can produce about 20 tonnes of salt annually, according to SPCKK. Salt production season falls between January and May each year.

SPCKK co-president Bun Baraing told The Post on Thursday that the volume of salt imports this year may be higher than last year.

“Importing salt from abroad is unavoidable this year because as of today, salt stocks have been mostly sold out,” said Baraing, adding that imported salt will be properly tested for quality at a laboratory.

The decline in salt output this year has been caused by two major factors – the weather and the subsequent reduction in the number of producers, he said.

He said more rain in salt production areas in Kampot and Kep provinces this year has caused problems for salt producers.

“If there is no rain during the three-month dry season, Cambodia will not have a salt shortage problem,” he said, citing labour shortages as the main reason for the year to year decline in salt producers.

“Salt production requires patient people and working under the sun. Many salt producers have turned to find another job instead. This is an ongoing challenge,” he said.

The price of salt has remained unchanged from last year at nearly $100 per tonne.

Between 2014 and 2016, Cambodia produced about 100,000 tonnes of salt per year. However, production has fallen for three consecutive years since 2017.

Last year, Cambodia planned to import 30,000 tonnes of salt from China but imported just over 10,000 tonnes. In 2009, it purchased 20,000 tonnes of salt from China at $2.2 million.

Cambodia’s salt industry generated about $22 million in revenue in 2017, according to Ministry of Industry and Handicraft data.

The ministry’s under-secretary of state Son Seng Huot and secretary of state Um Sopha, who oversee the salt industry, declined to comment on the issue.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year