The Kingdom will import 30,000 tonnes of salt to meet domestic demand as stockpiles are expected to empty by November, a leader from the Salt Producers Community of Kampot-Kep said.
Citing the impact heavy rains have had on the industry, co-executive director of the body, Bun Bariang, told The Post on Thursday that community leaders prepared last week to bring in salt from Thailand and China.
He said the 30,000 tonnes would account for roughly a third of the country’s annual demand of around 100,000 tonnes.
“Now, we are studying salt prices overseas, while that which was bought from abroad may arrive in Cambodia in October,” he said.
According to Bariang, the biggest time for salt consumption in Cambodia is during the fishing harvest, when it is used in the production of prahok and other fermented products.
As of press time, a 50kg sack of salt was selling at 17,600 riel ($4.34) at the market.
The Kingdom previously faced a salt shortage in 2008.
Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts spokesman Oum Sotha echoed the claim that weather was to blame for low domestic production.
“The community has the right to import salt. The ministry does not forbid it, but make sure the imported salt has iodine,” he said.
There are more than 4,600 hectares of salt marshes across Kampot and Kep provinces. They are farmed by some 200 families, Bariang said.
Salt harvest season lasts from January into late April.
Kampot and Kep province’s salt production data show that last year, the community produced 33,000 tonnes of salt and more than 100,000 in 2016. Salt stockpiles currently stand at about 20,000 tonnes.
Cambodia’s salt industry generated total revenue about $22 million last year, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts.