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Tobacco worth over $2M exported to VN last year

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A farmer checks on a crop of tobacco plants at a farm in Tbong Khmum province in 2014. Vireak Mai

Tobacco worth over $2M exported to VN last year

Cambodia exported more than 1,000 tonnes of dry tobacco leaves to Vietnam last year, valued at more than $2 million. The figure marks a 24 per cent increase from 2016, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Long Kemvichet said data showed the Kingdom exported a total of 1,200 tonnes of tobacco to Vietnam, worth $2.37 million. In 2016, 989.75 tonnes were exported there valued at $1.91 million.

In 2016, Cambodia and Vietnam agreed on preferential duties for agriculture products crossing their shared border.

Under the agreement, the Kingdom was allowed to export 3,000 tonnes of dried tobacco to Vietnam duty-free for one year starting in 2016.

However, it is unclear if the agreement will be renewed for this year, said Kemvichet.

“We do not have any update from our team as yet regarding the tobacco deal with Vietnam,” he said.

Cambodia produced 9,089 tonnes of tobacco last season – an increase of 37 per cent compared with the previous season – according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The area of cultivation used last season also increased to 6,859 hectares, up 19 per cent from the one before.

Kampong Cham province is where much of the country’s tobacco is cultivated. Besides exports, tobacco is supplied to Cambodia-based British American Tobacco Cambodia (BAT) under a “contract farming” system, said Kampong Cham agriculture department director Kim Savoeurn.

The province has between 1,600 and 1,800ha of tobacco fields, according to him.

Neang Bros, a broker in Stung Treng district, Kampong Cham province, who buys tobacco from farmers, said the price of dried tobacco is around 8000 riel ($2) per kilo depending on quality.

“I have a lot of buyers coming to my house to buy from me. The market is better than a year before but the price is not much different,” he said.

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