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More local rice traders set to export to Chinese market

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
A rice warehouse on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Chinese authorities this week agreed to speed up the review of applications of 40 Cambodian firms that want to export rice to the Chinese market.

The decision by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is seen as an important development that will help Cambodia achieve its goal of fulfilling its rice export quota in the Chinese market.

The Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture and AQSIQ met this week in Beijing to discuss Cambodian exports to China, particularly rice, bananas and mangoes.

During the meeting, the Chinese body agreed to prioritise work reviewing the applications of 40 Cambodian that want to begin exporting rice to China, according to Ngin Chhay, director-general of the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture.

“The second round of reviews is taking place soon and those that gain approval will be able to send their rice to China,” he said in a statement this week.

During the first round of reviews, 26 local rice traders passed the quality-control tests and were permitted to export rice to China.

AQSIQ has also recently allowed banana shipments into China from four Cambodian companies.

The Ministry of Agriculture and AQSIQ will meet again next month to sign a protocol on the exportation of mango, which firms could begin shipping to China as early as next year.

Discussions to approve the shipment of other Cambodian products – particularly longan and bird nests – are ongoing.

Song Saran, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said shipments of rice to China have increased markedly during the first nine months of the year, growing by 44 percent over the corresponding period last year.

“I believe that Cambodian rice will gain more and more popularity in China,” he was quoted as saying in an article by Xinhua.

According to CRF, the Kingdom exported 157,793 tonnes of rice to China from January to September. Exports to China accounted for 39.6 percent of Cambodia’s total rice exports.

Last year, the Kingdom was unable to meet its rice export quota in the Chinese market, shipping only 170,000 tonnes out of the 300,000 allowed. This year, however, CRF is confident the Kingdom will be able to ship all the 300,000 tonnes of rice that it is allowed.

Lun Yeng, CRF secretary-general, told Khmer Time last month that the 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,” he said.

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