Rice is a staple food of Asia and part of the Pacific. Over 90% of the world’s total rice is produced and consumed in the Asia-Pacific region.
Rice is the principal crop of Cambodia’s farmers and accounts for 15% of the agricultural value added and 75% of the cultivated land. Cambodia exported 1,68,280 tonnes of Milled Rice to China in the first half of 2022, up 17.4% over the same period last year earning $89million in revenue.
In 2020, China imported $1.72Billion in rice making the country the largest importer of rice in the world. China remained the largest buyer of Cambodian Rice during the January to June period in 2022. As per the Ministry of Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries, export to China accounted for 51.4% of Cambodia’s total exports of the commodity. The major competitors of Cambodia’s rice trade are India, Thailand and Vietnam.
Song Saran, President of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) said that China is a huge market for Cambodian rice and that the country is expected to export more rice to China after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal which took effect on 1st,Jan’22.
“The RCEP will further ease trade in goods between Cambodia and China as well as other participating countries. This mega-regional trade pack provides a larger access for Cambodia’s products, and I think it will attract more foreign investors to invest in various sectors, including in the rice industry, in order to export finished products to those RCEP countries, with tariff concessions.”
As the Chief Executive Officer of Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co. Ltd, Saran also said that his company exports milled rice mainly to China, Singapore and Australia.
As per a report, the Southeast Asian country exported a total of 327,200 tonnes of milled rice to 51 countries and regions around the world during the first half of 2022, up 16.6% in comparison to last year, thereby generating a revenue of $218million. Of that ,98,624 tonnes were shipped to the European market which is up 47%. India lifting the ban in 2010 and re-entering the international Rice Export market resulted in doubling its exports and subsequently lowering the price of rice around the world. Such developments along with high freight costs has made it difficult for Cambodia to penetrate regional markets.
Cambodia is one of the major producers and exporters of rice in the international market. Lack of warehousing, processing facilities and logistics causes the country to export 80% of the surplus rice produced to neighboring countries . Of the total requirement, Cambodia produces 5 million tonnes in rice surplus. The exports are expected to grow by 15% per annum. China holds the largest share in imports from Cambodia which supplies the aromatic rice variety. Cambodia
is now forced to develop profitable alternatives such as advanced irrigation technologies, infrastructure development, smart techniques to maintain soil and land fertility and implement cost effective agricultural strategies.