Mong Reththy Group (MRG), Cambodia’s largest exporter of palm oil, hopes to expand its exports to European markets this year.
Mong Reththy, president of the firm, said the quota-free and duty-free trade frameworks provided by European governments factored heavily into the decision.
“About 50 per cent of our total exports, which were worth about $27 million last year, went to European countries. They provided us with quota-free and duty-free access so that we can get $60 per tonne, compared with Malaysia or Thailand, which require us to pay tax. That is a great benefit,” he said.
“They are also encouraging us to export more because we are from a small country, so we receive a lot of support.”
The company began planting palm trees in 1995, when its five-tonne-per-hour-capacity refinery was built. But as growing numbers of palm trees were planted in the area, the company decided to upgrade the refinery’s capacity to 30 tonnes per hour.
MRG expects the production of crude palm oil to increase to 22,000 tonnes this year, up from 18,000 tonnes in 2012.
“We are not afraid of a lack of market. Wherever there are people, there are buyers, because palm oil can make up to 200 kinds of foods,” Reththy said. “We don’t worry about the market, what we are concerned about is the lack of land to grow on.”
He added that the company hopes to export more than $30 million worth of product this year – over 50 per cent of which will go to Europe. Reththy said the bulk of his company’s crude palm oil is exported to Malaysia, where it is processed and sent to Thailand, India and Europe.