Cambodian rice exports in the first nine months of the year rose two per cent year-on-year, led by the Chinese market, a Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) report said.
Rice exports to China increased more than 44 per cent, the report said, while exports to the EU dropped nearly 30 per cent.
Total rice exports during the period reached 398,586 tonnes, a 2.3 per cent year-on-year increase from 389,264 tonnes.
CRF vice-president Chan Sokheang on Thursday said the increase in exports during the period was lower than expected due to a lack of rice stocks for export.
“Exports saw subdued growth as paddy harvests this year were around two or three weeks later than usual. So we didn’t have enough milled rice to export,” he said.
However, he expects rice exports this year to continue increasing.
“I think the volume of Cambodian rice exports this year will increase between five and eight per cent compared to last year.”
The Kingdom exported 626,255 tonnes of milled rice last year, down 1.5 per cent from 635,679 tonnes in 2017.
The EU was the leading market, with 269,127 tonnes, and China second with 170,154 tonnes, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries figures show.
However, the volume of exports to European markets has steadily declined after the EU imposed tariffs on milled rice imports from the Kingdom in January.
Sokheang said the price of milled rice on the international market this year is 10 per cent higher than last year.
The Federation of Cambodian Rice Exporters has said Cambodia exports more than 80 per cent of its fragrant rice, which obtains a higher price.