Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government Lifts Rice Export Ban

Government Lifts Rice Export Ban

Government Lifts Rice Export Ban


Tracey Shelton

Rice sellers at Kap Koh Market in Phnom Penh.

The government's two-month ban on international rice exports has been lifted although some restrictions will remain, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced May 26.

The Government will allow 1.6 million tons of milled rice to leave Cambodia from now until December 31, but the Ministry of Commerce has only given licenses for Green Trade -- a state-owned agriculture firm -- and the National Cambodian Rice Millers’ Association (NCRMA) to export more than 100 tons at a time.

Hun Sen has also pledged that farmers engaging in small-scale rice trade across the border can continue to do so tax-free, and without a Ministry of Commerce license.

"People who used to export via illegal checkpoints will return to trading through legal channels," Hun Sen said.

"It will now be easier for us to calculate the level of rice exports."

He assured the public that the country does not have a shortage of rice, adding that most families set aside rice stocks for their own consumption.

He said that 80 percent of farmers are happy with the high price of rice, which is currently trading at between 2,000 riels ($0.50) and 3,600 riels per kilogram.

The chairman of the NCRMA, Pu Puy, welcomed the government’s decision to lift the ban on rice exports, saying that the association plans to export 30,000 to 50,000 tons of milled rice this year to Vietnam, Thailand and Germany.

"Our aim is to export our product and bring capital into the country," he said.

Pu Puy added that the NCRMA is aiming to reduce unhusked paddy exports by seeking some $70 million in capital to buy paddy from farmers, process it within Cambodia and sell the milled rice on the international market.

He said that potential partners are arriving in Phnom Penh in early June to discuss the possible export of milled rice to Germany. So far, Cambodia has exported 200 tons to the European nation.

Y Vy, a rice vendor near the Central Train Station in Phnom Penh, said that she welcomed the decision to reopen rice exports, but was concerned that prices could again jump if too much of the precious grain is sold abroad.

"It is normal. Once there is a shortage of a product, its price will jump up," she said. "Poor people in Phnom Penh may soon be concerned again with the cost of rice."

The government will review its decision again at the end of the year.


  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group