Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Report shows China demand will fuel growth of rice exports

Report shows China demand will fuel growth of rice exports

Farmers put harvested rice into a mobile threshing machine in Battambang province in 2015.
Farmers put harvested rice into a mobile threshing machine in Battambang province in 2015. Heng Chivoan

Report shows China demand will fuel growth of rice exports

Cambodia’s rice production and exports will likely continue to grow this year and next year despite low milling rates, buoyed by strong demand from China, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the report released last week, the USDA forecasted a 4 percent year-over-year increase in rice production during the 2017-2018 harvest seasons, estimating the total haul at 8.1 million tonnes.

Rice in Cambodia is typically harvested twice a year, once during the rainy season in November and December, then again during the dry season beginning in about February or March and typically running through April.

According to the report, this year’s dry season crop had benefitted from favourable weather conditions and had been harvested at a standard pace.

Official rice exports climbed 17 percent to reach 578,000 tonnes during the 2016-2017 harvest season, and the USDA estimated that the next two harvest seasons would see an additional 8 percent increase in exports each year, reaching 622,000 tonnes during the 2017-2018 harvests and 672,000 tonnes in the 2018-2019 harvest season.

Stagnating demand from European countries has been offset by an increase in demand from China, as rice exports to the latter country rose by 57 percent last year.

Additionally, the report notes that Cambodia’s exports only accounted for between 2 and 4 percent of China’s total rice imports last year, suggesting there was a potential for additional growth.

The rice production estimates are similar to those reported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) last month.

Also included in the FAO report was an estimate that 44 percent of Cambodia’s total rice exports would be smuggled out of the country this year, with total legal and illegal rice exports increasing by 5 percent to reach 1.35 million tonnes of rice.

The USDA did not provide estimates on smuggled or unrecorded rice exports.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors