Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM orders suspension of white rice, paddy exports



PM orders suspension of white rice, paddy exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the suspension of white rice and paddy exports from Cambodia from 11:59pm on April 5. Hong Menea

PM orders suspension of white rice, paddy exports

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered the suspension of white rice and paddy exports from Cambodia from 11:59pm on April 5, on the grounds of securing domestic supplies while Covid-19 is continuing to spread in Cambodia.

Speaking at a press conference following the extraordinary parliamentary session on a vote of confidence in the Cabinet appointments and reshuffles, he said the introduction of a preventive strategy is important during an emergency, while Covid-19 is spreading in many countries, including Cambodia.

He said the decision to suspend paddy and white rice exports would ensure better paddy stockpiles.

“I am ordering the suspension of white rice and paddy exports but allowing the export of fragrant rice, with effect from April 5 onwards,” he said.

He stressed that the export suspension would apply only to white rice and paddy, which is in high demand in the domestic market. Fragrance rice, which has less local demand will be exported as normal.

“We have to keep food in our country, and this food . . . I am not referring to cassava, potatoes, corn or soybeans, but to rice only, and by ‘rice’ we’re refering to milked white rice and paddy.

“But our fragrant rice is contracted for export in smaller quantities to the EU and some other countries. This export can continue,” he said.

On the deadline to close exports, Hun Sen said it would allow traders and others who have already bought paddy and are ready to export to Thailand and Vietnam to do so.

Besides this, he also told the Ministry of Economy and Finance to look into the possibility of disbursing funds to millers to buy paddy from those who had previously sold it to traders in neighbouring countries.

He said: “Let the rice millers buy paddy from those who are harvesting and need to sell it, and buy all the paddy to maintain good prices, and avoid lower prices while there are no traders from Thailand and Vietnam.”

Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) vice-president Chan Sokheang told The Post on Monday that the government’s measures to suspend exports of white rice and paddy would help Cambodia maintain a strong stockpile.

This, he said, is especially so under the circumstances when many countries around the world were facing problems stemming from the spread of Covid-19.

“The CRF would like to support the government’s measures to strengthen domestic paddy stockpiles and prevent any shortfall,” he said.

However, the suspension of white rice exports has also affected orders from some countries, he said. “This is a situation we call ‘force majeure’ so some sort of order agreement will be waived.”

Sokheang said on average the white rice exports to the international market accounts for about 20 per cent, while that for fragrant rice is 80 per cent.

Last year, Cambodian rice exports to the international market were worth about $501 million – down 4.3 per cent from $524 million in 2018, a CRF report said.

Representing CRF, Sokheang also called on the ministry to increase additional funding so that rice buyers and rice millers can buy more paddy to stock up.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries data, obtained by The Post on Monday, shows that Cambodia exported 214,612 tonnes of rice to international markets this year as of March 25.

China accounted for 94,060 tonnes, EU (62,998 tonnes), Asean countries (27,937 tonnes), and other destinations (29,617 tonnes). Paddy exports to Vietnam accounted for 836,692 tonnes.

Last year, rice exported to international markets reached 620,106 tonnes, down 0.97 per cent from 2018’s 626,225 tonnes.

Data showed that exports to China accounted for 40.73 per cent or 248,105 tonnes, the European market (32.01 per cent), or 202,990 tonnes. Exports to Asean accounted for 13.41 per cent equal or 83,164 tonnes, and other destinations (13.84 per cent) or 85,847 tonnes.

Paddy exports to Vietnam were 2.15 million tonnes during the same period, the data showed.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a