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Rice figures disappoint industry figurehead

Rice figures disappoint industry figurehead

The latest rice export figures have disappointed industry representatives with a lower-than-expected increase over the first nine months.

A report from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture published Saturday shows that from January to September, the Kingdom exported about 270,000 tonnes of rice, up 1.2 per cent from the same nine-month period last year.

Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodian Rice Federation, said the figure represents only a slight improvement on last year but that Thailand’s stockpile selloff in late 2013 had impacted the market.

“We expected a much better number earlier this year, but then we faced the overloaded global rice market, so I expect to see pretty much the same growth as last year,” he said.

During the nine-month period, September showed the largest year-on-year jump, with exports rising 20 per cent.

Kim Savuth, president of Khmer Food Company, one the country’s biggest rice exporters, said demand from China and Malaysia had driven up sales during September.

“Orders from the EU countries remain pretty stable while these two countries increased their order,” Savuth said.

Citing a recent import agreement between the Cambodian government and the state-owned China National Cerials, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation last month, Savuth said the Kingdom’s rice industry now relies heavily on Chinese purchase orders.

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