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Rice price is stable as harvest season opens

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A farmer carries a bag of rice after harvest in Battambang. Heng Chivoan

Rice price is stable as harvest season opens

The price of premier jasmine paddy is showing signs of stability as post-monsoon harvest season begins, insiders have said.

The harvest season of Phka Romduol – a variety of Cambodian premium rice – began about a week ago in some provinces such as Pursat, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Battambang, and will end late next month or in early January.

Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) vice-president Chan Sokheang on Tuesday said the price of Phka Romduol is currently between 1,100 and 1,200 riel ($0.27 and $0.30) per kilogramme – a slight increase from last year.

To promote rice exports, the CRF has urged all its members to stock up on Phka Romduol paddy, he said, adding that “this kind of paddy is in high demand on the international market”.

Milled Phka Romduol rice sold on the international market may fetch $880-$900 per tonne, Sokheang said.

On behalf of the CRF, he called on all commercial banks to provide more loans to rice millers and relevant companies to buy paddy for stock and reduce the outflow to neighbouring countries.

CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng said this year’s yield and price of paddy may be better than last year. “As far as I know, this year’s paddy prices have been good – no members have complained or mentioned a fall in price so far.”

However, Heng Pheng, CEO of Thmor Korl Rice Import Export Co Ltd, a Battambang-based rice exporter, said prices in Battambang province appear to have dropped slightly compared to the beginning of last year’s post-monsoon harvest season.

He said the price of paddy he bought from the farmers was worth around 1,170,000 riel per tonne, from 1,280,000 riel last year for the same amount.

As of Monday, 358,633ha of paddy was harvested in Battambang province, with an average yield of 4.16 tonnes per hectare, a Battambang provincial Department of Agriculture report said.

Heng Seth, an official at the department, said cultivated land in the province this year increased 114.49 per cent from the same time last year – exceeding the target. Paddy output is projected at 1.24 million tonnes, 850,000 tonnes more than last year.

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