The Cambodia Rice Federation is confident the Kingdom will reach its milled rice export quota in the Chinese market, with the association emboldened by last week’s visit of China’s largest food processor, COFCO.
The Kingdom was unable to meet the quota last year, shipping just 170,000 tonnes out of the 300,000 allowed.
This year, however, things will be different, argued Lun Yeng, CRF secretary-general. Mr Yeng said that a delegation from Chinese firm COFCO arrived in Cambodia last week to “understand the situation” of rice production in Cambodia.
“During the meeting, we talked about the milled rice quota because Cambodia was unable to export all 300,000 tonnes allowed last year,” Mr Yeng said, adding that, “This year, we will increase exports and reach 300,000 tonnes.”
In January last year, Cambodia and China signed an agreement expanding the amount of Cambodian milled rice that Chinese firms can purchase to 300,000 tonnes.
Mr Yeng told Khmer Times that that quota will soon be raised. “After reaching 300,000 tonnes in exports, we will begin working towards the new target for next year: 400,000 tonnes.”
CRF president Song Saran told Khmer Times recently that the association is now focusing on expanding exports to China and other countries in the region to reduce reliance on the European Union.
In the first half of 2019, Cambodia’s milled rice exports rose by 3.7 percent to 281,538 tonnes. Shipments to China represented 42 percent of all exports, about 118,400 tonnes.
However, during the same six months, Cambodia’s milled rice exports to the EU fell by almost 50 percent, according to CRF. The drop was the result of the tariffs the bloc imposed on Cambodian rice earlier this year.