July 8, 2011

Cambodia's rice exports see sharp rise in last 6 months


PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia has seen 369 percent rise in processed rice exports in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period last year, showed the statistics from the Ministry of Commerce's Camcontrol Department on Thursday.

From January to June 2011, the country had exported 80,442 tonnes of milled rice to European markets and other countries, up 369 percent from 17,144 tonnes at the same period last year, while the export value jumped to 45.7 million U.S. dollars, 241 percent up from 13.4 million U.S. dollars.

Khuon Savuth, chief of the Camcontrol Department's statistics division, said the sharp rise was due to the tax exception for Cambodian rice by the European countries and Cambodia's improvement of processed rice quality.

"In addition, drought and flood in some European countries also leads to increasing demand of rice from Cambodia," he added.

Cambodia has 3.9 million tonnes of rice paddies, in equivalent to 2.5 million tonnes of milled rice, left over for exports this year, according to the government report.

However, this country can export only the small amount of its milled rice due to the lack of sophisticated post-harvesting technology.

The country needs roughly 350 million U.S. dollars to invest in hi-tech post harvest technology and to purchase rice paddies from farmers for processing in order to achieve its self-imposed target of one-million-ton rice exports by 2015.

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