Cambodia’s overseas rice shipments tumbled 27.3 percent Jan-July, compared with a year earlier. Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said exports dropped because of the scarcity of storage containers and ensuing rise in shipping costs.
The Kingdom shipped nearly 310,000 tonnes of milled rice during the period, generating nearly $262 million in income for 58 exporters.
China remained the biggest market of the 49 countries currently importing Cambodian rice, buying nearly 154,000 tonnes. Other markets included the 21 European nations and five Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam was one of the bright spots, buying 81 percent more rice than a year earlier, earning exporters $330 million.
Prime Minister Hun Sen says agricultural exports will help cushion an expected slowdown in Cambodia’s economic growth this year. He noted that higher demand for mangoes, bananas, cassava and other crops will offset the drop in rice exports.
The Prime Minister announced a cut of the country’s 2021 growth forecast to 2.5 percent from 4.0 percent during a speech over the weekend because of the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on demand for Cambodian products.
The Cambodia Rice Federation called an emergency meeting last month to discuss Covid-19s effect on exporters and millers. Members are focusing their efforts on finding more buyers in China and other Asian markets due to the problems of shipping rice to Europe.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.