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

  • Koreans arrested carrying $2.2M at Siem Reap airport

    Two South Koreans were nabbed by immigration police at Siem Reap International Airport on Sunday when attempting to bring more than $2 million in cash into Cambodia from Hong Kong. The National Police website on Monday said two Korean men aged 44 and 33 were arrested shortly after

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • Cambodia rejects call by UN for open invite

    Cambodia has rejected a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommendation submitted by five countries at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) calling on the Kingdom to issue a standing invitation to UN special procedures to visit at any time. The rejection was part of the 25 recommendations

  • Cambodia’s medical system is due for a check-up

    In Cambodia, many high-ranking government officials and public figures seek medical treatment abroad – including Prime Minister Hun Sen. With this in mind, it is not surprising that many locals also seem to often distrust local healthcare facilities. Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies