Cambodia’s exports of milled rice increased moderately in the first nine months of the year, growing by 2.3 percent compared with the same period last year according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
In a report released yesterday, the ministry says China is the largest buyer of Cambodian milled rice, importing 157,793 tonnes from January to September. This is equal to 40 percent of Cambodia’s milled rice exports.
China is followed by France and Gabon, with 53,723 tonnes and 21,682 tonnes respectively.
Although down as a result of tariffs imposed earlier this year, exports to the European Union reached 135,475 tonnes, the equivalent of 34 percent of total milled rice exports, according to the report.
Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Myanmar, all members of Asean, imported a combined 53,347 tonnes during the same period.
CRF’s secretary-general Lun Yeng said last week that exports of long-grain white rice to the EU were down but that shipments of fragrant rice were on the rise. Overall, however, rice exports to the bloc were significantly lower than last year.
“Overall, exports to the EU are down, but, fortunately, exports to other markets are increasing,” he said.
“By the end of the year, I believe we will export the same amount of rice to foreign markets than last year, or perhaps a bit more,” Mr Yeng said.
He said that, due to the rise in shipments to China, the local rice sector continues to grow.
Grade A Cambodian fragrant rice sells for $900 to $950 per tonne, while Grade B fetches $700 to $740. Long-grain white rice sells for about $450 per tonne, CRF said.
Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets in 2018, a drop of 1.5 percent compared to 2017.