Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Milled-rice exports gaining traction

Milled-rice exports gaining traction

Milled-rice exports gaining traction

120424_07

The tonnage of the Kingdom’s milled-rice exports jumped nearly 50 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the Ministry of Commerce, with export revenues soaring as much as 82 per cent.

{jathumbnail}

Total exports of milled rice for the first three months of 2012 hit 38,409 tonnes, climbing 49 per cent from the year-ago period, when exports were 25,784 tonnes, ministry data showed.

At the same time, revenues from exports increased 82.4 per cent to US$27.1 million, up from $14.9 million year-on-year.

Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said growth in both the number of rice millers and milling capacity, as well as the continued investment in sector, helped to push up the numbers.

“Now we see that rice millers are increasing gradually, so the exports are also on the rise,” he said, adding that both local and foreign investors are eyeing the sector.

Still, insiders noted that the Kingdom’s pricier milled rice had made the crop less competitive on the international market, as the early-stage sector had yet to create economies of scale that would lower production costs.

“Our price is high, and that made it difficult to ship rice out of the country early this year,” Seng Bun Sor, vice president of the Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers Associations and president of Seng Bun Sor Rice Exporter.

As a result, some millers did not see increases in their export numbers, he added.

That sentiment was echoed by Hun Lak, president of Mekong Oriza Rice Exporter, who said both Vietnam and India were selling their rice at more competitive prices and that is a threat to domestic exporters.

“The price of our milled rice is higher, resulting in a drop in the export of all kinds of milled rice,” he said. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun recently acknowledged the increased cost of Cambodian rice, but said duty-free status in markets like the European Union should help to bolster the Kingdom’s competitiveness.

He predicted milled rice exports this year would more than double.

Cambodia’s milled rice exports last year were about 170,772 tonnes, totalling $103.9 million, according to Ministry of Commerce data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sieam Bunthy at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and