Mega Green Company plans to export up to 50,000 tonnes of rice in 2011, largely due to increased demand from the European Union, according to Director General Outh Renne.
The firm claims to have already shipped 10,000 tonnes to Europe in 2011 to date.
Mega Green’s processed rice sold for prices beginning at US$385 a tonne, with prices rising for higher quality product, he said.
The European Union has removed tariffs and quotas on the majority of imports, including rice, from Least Developed Countries such as Cambodia under its Everything But Arms initiative.
Rice exports ought to continue to rise, said Outh Renne, with demand also increasing from the Philippines, as well as interest from buyers in China and the Middle East.
“The Philippines is a big market, demanding more rice,” he said, adding his company hoped to export 5,000 tonnes to the country this year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has set a goal of one million tonnes of milled rice exports by 2015, which Outh Renne said the Kingdom could achieve. However, he added the process would not be without difficulties.
He highlighted the need to increase loans by commercial banks to local rice millers to purchase paddy for processing, the requirement to develop domestic infrastructure, and that strong links had to be established with exporters and buyers.
Meanwhile, the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s April rice market monitor report released yesterday bumped up its estimate for the Kingdom’s 2010 crop to 8.3 million tonnes, from 8 million tonnes previously.
“A considerable surplus from a record 2010 crop is anticipated to enable Cambodia to step up 2011 exports by 8 percent to 1.4 million tonnes, the bulk of which is expected to flow unrecorded, mainly to Vietnam and Thailand,” it said.
It said Cambodia’s 2011 rice crop could hit 8.5 million tonnes, though it noted the main crop was planted in June.