Cambodian rice exports to international markets were worth more than $265 million in the first eight months of the year, said Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) secretary-general Lun Yeng.
Yeng told The Post on Wednesday that the Kingdom exported more than 340,000 tonnes of rice during the period. Rice exports last year, he said, reached more than 620,000 tonnes or more than $473 million.
CRF data shows Cambodia exported 342,080 tonnes of rice in the first eight months of this year – up 0.13 per cent year-on-year. However, exports to European markets were down 32.09 per cent, or 120,085 tonnes.
Figures show that during the period, the Kingdom exported 132,947 tonnes of rice to China, up 54.38 per cent year-on-year; 43,317 tonnes to Asean, up 12.68 per cent year-on-year, and 45,731 tonnes the US, Canada, Australia and African countries, up 13.63 per cent year-on-year.
Cambodian rice exports to the European market have continued to decline since the implementation of European safeguard measures earlier this year, which imposed nearly $187 per tonne in tariffs on the Kingdom, said Yeng, giving a figure lower than the €175 ($192) levy set by the EU for this year.
“Although the volume of rice exported to the EU had declined, revenue increased because our fragrant rice is more expensive than white rice,” he said.
He said in efforts to boost rice exports to Europe, the CRF plans to meet directly with European farmers in the next month to find a solution.
“First, the CRF will try to coordinate with European farmers. We recognise that our white rice has an impact on them, but our fragrant rice does not affect them because they do not produce fragrant rice.
“We will try to persuade Europe [the EU] not to continue taxing our rice after the end of the [three-year] term,” he said.
In the first half of this year, Cambodia exported 247,769 tonnes of rice worth over $188.29 million, up 24.45 per cent year-on-year, a Ministry of Commerce report shows. Destination markets include the US, Europe, Canada, China and Asean countries.