China imported 40 percent more rice from Cambodia from January to October this year over the same period last year, according to government data.
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The Middle Kingdom is the biggest buyer of the crop. Cambodia sent 457,940 tonnes of milled rice to foreign markets, a 5 percent hike over the corresponding period last year. Of that, Cambodia shipped 184,844 tonnes of milled rice to China, according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality (SOWS-REF).
The Kingdom’s rice exports to China during the first months of this year is considered as a positive move toward achieving its goal after the Chinese government allowed Cambodia to export 300,000 tonnes to its market.
“We are confident that we could reach the target this year with the quota that the Chinese government allowed,” said Lun Yeng, secretary-general of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
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, things will be different because we are aiming to increase exports and reach 300,000 tonnes,” he noted, adding that after reaching 300,000 tonnes in exports, the CRF will begin working towards the new target for next year: 400,000 tonnes.
During a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Beijing earlier this year, Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged to increase the rice quota by purchasing 400,000 tonnes of rice from the Kingdom. The move is part of boosting bilateral trade between the countries.
CRF president Song Saran told the Khmer Times recently that the federation is now focusing on expanding exports to China and other countries in the region to reduce reliance on the European Union.
With his optimism about the Kingdom’s rice exports, Mr Saran believes that Cambodian rice will gain more and more popularity in the Chinese market.
According to the figure from SOWS-REF, the European Union is the second-biggest buyer of Cambodian rice, purchasing a total of 155,950 tonnes of milled rice from January to October – an increase of 34 percent when compared with the same period last year.
The report showed that 83 companies exported Cambodian rice to the international market, including Baitang (Kampuchea) Plc, the biggest rice exporter, who shipped 60,358 tonnes. Amru Rice (Cambodia), the next biggest exporter, shipped 41,068 tonnes.