Cambodia is on track to meet its quota of exporting 200,000 tonnes of milled rice to China this year, while worldwide exports continue to increase as well.
In the first half of 2017, Cambodia exported 94,720 tonnes of rice to China, setting the stage for the nation to meet its 200,000 quota by year’s end.
The total export figure of the country’s milled rice to foreign markets was 288,562 tonnes thus far this year, up from 283,825 tonnes in the same period last year.
China remains the biggest market, followed by France and Poland, with 37,321 and 25,639 tonnes respectively, a report from secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality showed.
The 94,720 tonnes exported to China this year marks a step rise from 2016, when just 47,024 tonnes of rice were exported in the first six months.
The Chinese government expects to increase its Cambodian rice imports again in 2018, to 300,000 tonnes.
The report also noted that Cambodia exported milled rice to 56 countries in the first half of 2017.
Hean Vanhan, director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries’ General Directorate of Agriculture, said the trend of rising exports is expected to continue as Cambodia seeks to expand its reach.
“We have a target of 1 million tonnes to export so we have to seek and open more markets,” he said. “We cannot depend on only China’s market alone.”
Based on current growth, Cambodia will reach 600,000 tonnes of exported milled rice for 2017, Mr. Vanhan said, noting China will be the top buyer.
Hun Lak, vice-president of the Cambodian Rice Federation, echoed Mr. Vanhan’s remarks.
“The figure [200,000 tonnes to China] will be reached,” he said. “It may even be over the set quota, because from July on is the rainy season and rice harvests and prices will increase which will benefit farmers and rice millers.”
However, a shortage of loans for farmers to buy paddy rice, and build warehouses and kilns, are issues that still need to be addressed, Mr Lak said.
“These issues still remain,” he said. “We need to strengthen paddy rice warehouses, kilns, and capital for buying paddy rice,” Mr Lak said.
Last year, Cambodia exported 542,144 tonnes of milled rice.