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Rice exports facing challenges

Rice exports facing challenges

Pou Puy, president of the Cambodian Rice Millers Association, said that the export of Cambodia’s white rice faces challenges in terms of both quantity and competitive pricing, as exports of milled rice dropped about 35 per cent for the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

He said it is difficult to compete with Vietnam. “Our quantity cannot compete. It is a challenge we think will take a long time to beat.”

Lim Bun Heng, president of Cambodian Milled Rice Exporters, said that although Cambodia’s white rice exports dropped in the first half of the year, the export of fragrant milled rice rose over 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Milled rice exports decreased by around 40,000 tonnes for the first six months of this year which amounts to exports of about 78,000 tonnes, compared to 120,000 tonnes for the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun said in yesterday’s meeting that the drop in exporting milled rice to international markets may cause difficulties in meeting Prime Minister Hun Sen’s milled rice exports plan for 2012. “I am concerned about when we reach the end of the year as our export volume may be lower than expected.”

He added that Cambodia has a rice surplus of about 4.87 million tonnes this year, and the paddy rice surplus would reach 5 million tonnes next year, if there were no natural disasters. However most of the paddy rice would be absorbed by neighbouring countries’ markets.

Most big exporters experienced some obstacles in exporting milled rice from the Kingdom including the price of the rice compared to neighbouring countries, the ability to provide a product when supply is limited, and the lack of capital to purchase rice.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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