Cambodia exported 281,538 tonnes of milled rice during the first half of the year, an increase of 3.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
A recent report from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that, from January to June, 75 local exporters sent milled rice to 47 countries.
China continues to be Cambodia’s biggest market for rice, absorbing 118,401 tonnes, 42 percent of all exports. France came in at number two, buying 37,515 tonnes.
By region, the EU was the largest buyer with 93,503 tonnes, or 33.21 percent of all exports.
The report also mentions that five countries in Asean imported Cambodian rice – Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand – with Malaysia being the biggest buyer (13.936 tonnes or 12.78 percent of all exports).
Amru Rice, one of the largest exporters in the country, sold 23,529 tonnes of rice abroad during the six-month period. Its CEO, Song Saran, told Khmer Times that rice exports are growing and that companies must aim to diversify their markets to sustain this growth.
“We are now diversifying markets. The government and the Cambodia Rice Federation are working to produce premium rice to boost exports,” Mr Saran said.
“We must increase the production of fragrant rice because it has great quality and demand for it in China is high.”
By the end of the year, Mr Saran said he expects exports to reach 650,000 tonnes, explaining that the main harvest season falls during the second half of the year.
More than 82 percent (237,097 tonnes) of exported rice belonged to the fragrant variety. 39,854 tonnes of long-grain white rice were exported, while just 4,587 tonnes of long-grain parboiled rice were shipped abroad.
Last year, Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets, a drop of 1.5 percent compared to 2017.