Cambodia  exported over 656,000 tonnes of milled rice in 2023, marking a 3% increase from the previous year and generating over $465 million in revenue, a rise of 13%, as reported by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body.

According to the CRF’s analysis, the country dispatched 656,323 tonnes of milled rice through 63 exporters to 61 destinations, accruing $466 million. 

Specifically, exports to China and its Hong Kong Autonomous Region totalled 212,756 tonnes, valued at $138 million; 264,683 tonnes were sent to 26 EU members, equating to $191 million; and 93,376 tonnes worth $62 million were exported to seven ASEAN member countries. 

Additional shipments included 85,508 tonnes worth $76 million to 26 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

According to the report, total exports consisted of the following percentages: 82.29% for fragrant varieties, 12.94% for white rice, 2.92% for parboiled, 1.62% for organic milled, 0.03% for short-grain white and 0.2% for glutinous milled.

Cambodia exported 4,387,363 tonnes of paddy rice valued at approximately $1.32 billion in 2023, 64% of which was certified by export authorities.

Paddy rice exports and related revenue increased by 26.50% and 56.69% from 2022 respectively.

The country earned a total of $1.786 billion from both milled and paddy rice in 2023.

CRF president Chan Sokheang attributed the growth in milled rice trade to the country’s continuous efforts in finding new markets, supported by the government’s initiatives in both the sixth and seventh mandates, alongside close cooperation from the private sector.

“We will strive to support the government’s aim of exporting 1 million tonnes of milled rice by engaging new partners in potential countries. We are optimistic that markets in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and Africa will accommodate about 100,000 tonnes,” he stated.

Minister of Commerce Cham Nimul highlighted efforts to enhance milled rice exports at the ministry’s recent annual meeting on its past achievements and action plans for 2024. 

She said the ministry had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on milled rice trade with several countries, resulting in 4,000 tonnes already exported to Timor-Leste, 2,300 tonnes to the Philippines and 15,000 tonnes to Indonesia.

“Currently, the ministry is in the process of reviewing the results of a 20% increase in export volume to the Chinese market, which has already reached 400,000 tonnes,” she explained.

“[We have] been working on strengthening existing markets and exploring new ones to boost our exports,” she added. 

The minister noted that the commerce ministry, alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, is devising a strategic framework for milled rice export, aimed at creating a comprehensive and effective plan.