Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Palm oil yields up as crop matures

Palm oil yields up as crop matures

Tycoon Mong Reththy is head of Mong Reththy Group, Cambodia's only active palm oil producer.
Tycoon Mong Reththy is head of Mong Reththy Group, Cambodia's only active palm oil producer. Heng Chivoan

Palm oil yields up as crop matures

Export of crude palm oil from Mong Reththy Group, the Kingdom’s only active producer, doubled during the first half of the year despite prices showing no indication of improving, a company executive said yesterday.

Mong Reththa, vice chairman of the board of directors at Mong Reththy Investment Cambodia Palm Oil, said the group subsidiary exported 13,000 tonnes of crude palm oil during the first six months of 2016, a 116 per cent increase compared to the same period one year earlier. The value of the exported product reached $7.5 million in the first half of the year, compared to $3.5 million one year earlier.

Reththa attributed the increase in export volume to the expansion of the company’s harvest area as more trees reached productive age, and to higher yields from maturing trees.

“We had more mature trees to harvest this year that can provide a higher yield,” he said. “The price is still not good, however. Even with our export volume increasing we don’t make a good profit on it.”

According to Reththa, the international price of crude palm oil has remained flat for the past year and currently stands at about $600 per tonne, or about 25 per cent below 2013 prices.

Mong Reththy Investment Cambodia Palm Oil has planted oil palm trees on 16,150 hectares, of which more than 8,000 hectares have reached a productive age. The crude palm oil from the company’s plantation is primarily exported to Malaysia, China, South Korea and the EU.

At least two other companies in Cambodia operate commercial oil palm plantations, though neither have reported completing their first harvest. One of these, Virtus Green Plantations (Cambodia), has planted oil palms on its 6,700-hectare economic land concession (ELC) in Kampot province.

According to the company’s website, Virtus planted a total of 800 hectares of oil palm as of the end of 2014. Oil palms typically begin to produce three to four years after planting, and enjoy peak production from about seven to 18 years.

Khan Samban, director of the department of industrial crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, said the expansion of oil palm cultivation was a positive move for the country as the crop is labour-intensive. “Expansion of palm oil plantations will create jobs for rural people and help to reduce migration,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.