Cambodia milled rice export seen increasing

Cambodia is expected to see a remarkable increase in its milled rice export due to the China market, a recovery in demand in the European Union, and the emergence of new markets.

The Cambodian Rice Federation expects more rice exports in 2023 because of the recovery in the European markets and the emergence of new markets, including Bangladesh, said the federation’s newly appointed president Chan Sokheang.

Currently, the CRF sees many markets for Cambodian rice export, including the European market, where demand for rice is recovering after tariffs on Cambodia’s white rice were removed.

Regarding the new market, CRF has recently been discussing export options to Bangladesh, which has gradually been positive, he said last week.

“The Rice Federation of Cambodia has always made efforts to organise and promote, as well as other programs, to gradually increase the export market there,” he said.

The new quota of 400,000 tons export to China will give a big boost to rice export, said Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, adding that the ministry is currently negotiating a new agreement for the Cambodia-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership, in which rice is a priority commodity that Cambodia expects to expand new market potential in the Middle East.

“Currently, the market in this area is very small, which the ministry hopes will help increase Cambodia’s rice exports even more,” he said.

The Ministry of Commerce not only considers one-sided rice exports, but also strives to help smallholder farmers to better prepare, especially by promoting agricultural contracts between smallholder farmers and rice millers, he added.

Cambodia’s milled rice export rose by 10.6 percent to 509,249 tons in January-October of this year, according to a report from the CRF.

The Kingdom earned $324 million from milled rice export, the report said, adding that milled rice had been shipped to 56 countries and regions.

China remained the biggest buyer of Cambodia’s milled rice. The milled rice export to China was at 231,873 tons, which is 45 percent of the total export. The comments were made amidst the government’s new policies set by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries aiming to boost the use of high-quality rice seeds. The plan is to produce rice varieties that are resilient to climate, high yield and low cost to boost the quality of rice for exports.

Recently, the ministry announced that the stable price of paddy rice was ensured after interventions by the ministry’s officials and rice millers.

The ministry said rice millers ensured stable prices offered for purchasing paddy rice from farmers in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces that saw a fall in rice prices.

The Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) has announced an additional $10 million fund for rice procurement in Cambodia to promote the purchase of rice from farmers and help stabilise the price.

The ARDB fund will support rice mills and processing companies to buy the commodity from farmers at reasonable prices and avoid buying at discounts from some traders.

Sokheang said that currently, the situation is improving with the price of rice starting to rebound after many traders have placed orders and purchases in the areas.