Cambodia: First quarter food exports suffering

New figures paint a poor picture of exports for Cambodia, highlighting the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on trade.

One reason is a massive increase of up to five times in the cost of shipping combined with a shortage of available containers.

A total of 978 tonnes of fresh fisheries products were exported in the first quarter of this year, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

The figure represents 12.23 percent of the yearly plan, the same source pointed out.

Meanwhile, the export of processed fisheries products amounted to 172 tonnes – 8.60 percent of the planned target, it added.

Thailand and Vietnam are the main markets for Cambodia’s fisheries products.

At the same time. nearly 2.4 million tonnes of paddy rice from dry-season farming were harvested in the first three months of this year, with milled rice exports amounting to 153,688 tonnes, a year-on-year decrease of about 33 percent.

A MAFF report shows that as of the first quarter, paddy rice was cultivated from 535,539 hectares with an average yield of 4,477 tonnes per hectare.

In the same period, Cambodia’s milled rice was shipped to 41 countries around the world. China is the Kingdom’s biggest rice market, followed by 19 countries in Europe and three countries in ASEAN (Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines).

Figures from the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) show that the trend of rice exports is gradually recovering, resulting in an increase of 84.66 percent in March compared with February.