Cambodia rice exports in the first nine months of the year topped $300 million, an increase of more than 10 per cent, according to a report by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
The data shows that from January to September, Cambodia brought in more than $328 million from rice exports, up from $297 million in the same period last year.
Cambodia exported a total of 488,785 tonnes of rice, an increase of 22.62 per cent year-on-year, which was 398,586 tonnes, said the data.
China remains the largest export market and buys 35 per cent or 171,896 tonnes of rice.
The European Union (including the UK) is second with 33 a per cent market share (161,614 tonnes), of which France has the largest market share at 13 per cent.
ASEAN member markets accounted for 67,433 tonnes of exports, while other markets accounted for 87,832 tonnes, up 69 per cent from the same period last year. Of that, Africa’s Gabon increased imports by 81 per cent and Australia by 62 per cent.
Cambodia exported more than 78 per cent of its fragrant rice to international markets during this period.
Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) secretary-general Lun Yeng told The Post on Sunday that Cambodia’s rice exports to the Chinese market had maintained good growth with demand for fragrant and glutinous rice.
He said Cambodia had exported nearly 140,000 tonnes of glutinous rice to the Chinese market in the period, a record high.
“We see that there is a good market for glutinous rice in China, which is being used in the confectionery industry, and we will encourage our farmers to grow more glutinous paddy rice next year,” he said.
Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Director Dr Ouk Makara said he met with Cambodian Rice Federation President Song Saran recently to highlight the growing demand for glutinous rice in the Chinese market and promised to encourage farmers to grow local glutinous paddy rice.
He said CARDI-released Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul glutinous seedlings have not been widely cultivated since 2013 and only some farmers in Battambang and other provinces are cultivating them.
Makara said: “I told him to encourage farmers to grow Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul glutinous rice because it is top quality and could meet the market demand”.
China is expected to import a total of 5.32 million tonnes of all types of rice by 2020. China has allowed 12 countries to sell rice, including Cambodia.
Chan Pich, general manager of Signature of Asia, Cambodia’s leading rice exporter, told The Post that Cambodia’s continued increase in rice exports reflects government and private sector efforts to diversify the market.
“I think our continued increase in rice exports is a positive sign towards the government and the rice federation’s target of one million tonnes by 2023,” he said.
He said Signature of Asia needs between $2 million and $3 million in working capital to buy about 25,000 tonnes of paddy rice for storage during the rice harvest season by the end of 2020.
Cambodia’s rice exports amounted to 620,106 tonnes in 2019, down 0.97 per cent from 626,225 tonnes in 2018. Revenue from rice exports was $501 million, down 4.3 per cent from 2018’s $ 524 million, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.