Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos’ rice exports are expected to plummet

Laos’ rice exports are expected to plummet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Laos set a target of $45.6 million for rice exports last year but could only achieve $31.4 million. VIENTIANE TIMES

Laos’ rice exports are expected to plummet

LAOS is anticipating reduced income from rice exports this year in the wake of widespread flooding across the country last year.

The country set a target of $45.6 million for rice exports last year but could only achieve $31.4 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

This year, the government is expecting to earn only $25.2 million from rice exports, a significant decline compared to last year’s figure.

Low rice yields in 16 provinces have been attributed to widespread flooding in the rainy season, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reported.

Some 101,000ha of rice were affected by last year’s floods, about 12 per cent of the total planted area of 817,800ha.

About 66,000ha of the rice crop was estimated to have been destroyed by floods.

Last year, the government set a rice production target of 4.2 million tonnes and hit about 3.6 million tonnes or 86 per cent of the plan.

China is potentially a huge market for Lao rice but has stringent requirements as far as quality is concerned.

Laos’ rice exports to China hit $14.2 million in 2016, dropped to $5.6 million in 2017, and sank to about $5 million last year.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena recently requested that China consider a rice import quota of 50,000 tonnes along with accepting other industrial goods as part of efforts to bolster bilateral trade.

The call for the increased rice quota comes after 20,000 tonnes were shipped to the northern neighbour in 2017 by China’s Xuanye (Lao) Co Ltd following approval by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

Vietnam and Thailand are also significant markets for the Lao-grown staple.

Rice is an important commercial crop for the Lao market and for export, along with coffee, corn, bananas, sugarcane, cassava and rubber.

Local estimates expect the agriculture sector to expand by at least three per cent this year if Laos does not encounter any natural disasters.

According to the Asian Development Outlook 2019 forecast, the agriculture sector is expected to expand by 2.5 per cent.

The sector has grown gradually, but fell from a growth rate of 2.9 per cent in 2017 to 2.5 per cent last year, the National Institute for Economic Research reported. VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group