Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Timber! Business is starting to improve

Timber! Business is starting to improve

Timber! Business is starting to improve

The downturn in the property market over the past couple of years has affected many layers of Cambodian society.  Chy Bora, 47, has run her timber yard in Svay Rieng since 1995.

Buying timber from suppliers in Ratanakkiri province, she sells to customers in districts throughout the town. Traditionally January to March is the busiest time for trade as this is when people build new houses.

Judging by the deafening noise from the wood saw in her yard, today would seem to be a good day. Outside, three horse-cart drivers are waiting to take wood to customers.

However, appearances are deceptive. The drivers are hanging around waiting for orders like tuk-tuk drivers on street corners.

“If we compare with previous years, business is not so good right now,” says Chy Bora. “Previously, land fetched a high price and sales of wood were good. But this year is better than last.”

According to Chy Bora, when the price of land is high, people tend to haggle less about the price of timber. “Now they bargain a lot,” she says.

In October 2009, Chy Bora took out a loan of US$40,000 from ACLEDA Bank to buy more timber.

“When I started I only had two or three cubic metres of wood,” she says. “After borrowing money from ACLEDA Bank we had more wood ... around 150 cubic metres.”

Despite this, Chy Bora is looking to extend her loan.

“If we have only a little capital we don’t have all the right equipment and it is very difficult to compete so customers will go to another place,” she says. “If we get another loan it will be very good.”

Chy Bora believes a further investment of $200,000 would enable her to compete with other timber merchants. TRANSLATION BY RANN REUY{jathumbnail}

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • ‘Action needed to stop road deaths doubling by next year’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place. At least five people on average are killed on Cambodian roads every day. The interior

  • Cambodian rice to lose EU duty-free status

    The Cambodian rice sector is set to lose its duty-free export status to the EU today – its major rice market – after the European bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports. The decision will be