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Cambodia’s rice export up 35 Percent in Q1 amid looming ban

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Cambodia has forbidden exports of non-fragrant rice to other countries. KT/Pann Rachana

Cambodia exported a total of 230,948 tons of milled rice to foreign markets in the first quarter of this year, according to Cambodia Rice Federation’s report.

The figure represents an increase of over 35 percent compared to the same period last year, pointed out the report, adding that China is the main market for Cambodian rice.

From January to March 2020, 44 percent of total rice export or about 101,345 tons were shipped to China, followed by the European Union 30 percent, ASEAN countries 12 percent and other destinations 14 percent, stated the report.

In March alone, milled rice export was amounted to 94,449 tons, a noticeable increase by 62 percent compared to March 2019.

Last year, Cambodia exported 620,000 tons of milled rice to international markets.

This optimistic numbers on rice exports came amid announcement by the government to ban rice and paddy exports from April for an undisclosed period of time.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered a stop to all exports of white rice and paddy from April 5 until further notice. He said the decision was made to safeguard local supply in response to COVID-19 food shortage fears.

Starting from April 5, we will not allow the export of any white rice or paddy to the international market. This is because we want to keep supplying domestic demand. However, fragrant rice can be exported normally,” Mr Hun Sen said.

The government had given one week’s notice in order to allow rice millers and exporters to clear stock as per their buying and purchasing agreements. Chea Vannak/AKP

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