Cambodia exported 72,010 tonnes of milled rice in November, marking a bumper 51.5 per cent surge compared to 47,530 tonnes a month earlier, and an 11.23 per cent rise over 64,740 tonnes in November 2020.
The Kingdom shipped out more than 3.655 million tonnes of milled and paddy rice abroad in the first 11 months of 2021, up by 53.71 per cent year-on-year, valued at $1.001 billion, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.
In January-November, milled-rice exports totalled 532,179 tonnes, down by 11.46 per cent year-on-year from 601,045 tonnes, raking in $454,480,866. Paddy – exclusively sold to Vietnam – accounted for 3,123,242 tonnes, up by 75.75 per cent year-on-year, to the tune of $546,567,350.
The ministry listed the buyers of Cambodian milled rice as: China (265,244 tonnes, up 12.90 per cent year-on-year), 22 EU countries (134,438 tonnes, down 28.66 per cent), seven ASEAN countries (54,350 tonnes, down 30.51 per cent) and 24 other markets (78,147 tonnes, down 21.43 per cent).
Broken down by category of milled rice, fragrant varieties accounted for 389,912 tonnes (73.27 per cent of the total), white cultivars clocked in at 132,675 tonnes (24.93 per cent), and parboiled rice reached 9,592 tonnes (1.80 per cent).
Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) vice-president Chan Sokheang told The Post that the drop in total milled rice exports was due to higher shipping costs and a shortage of the 20-foot containers that are customarily used to move the merchandise, trends that he noted have greatly exacerbated since the beginning of this year.
The situation has made it “very difficult” to ship milled rice to distant markets, especially the EU, he said, but added that volumes have begun to make a gradual recovery.
“Shipping costs remain high, making it difficult for exporters to make a profit.”
Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy said that although the domestic transport sector is performing relatively well, its international counterpart, particularly the waterway segment, is still bogged down in a mire of difficulties surrounding the stratospheric shipping rates.
And these headaches are not exclusive to the Kingdom, he said, sharing Sokheang’s view that “price constraints have made it difficult to transport goods from Cambodia to distant destinations such as Europe and the US”.
However, Chanthy expects the recent declines in world oil prices to help bring down shipping prices from the beginning of 2022.
In 2020, Cambodia exported a total of 690,829 tonnes of milled rice – valued at nearly $539 million – climbing by 11.40 per cent from a year earlier, according to ministry data.