Cambodian rice exports set to double


Seven months into 2013, Cambodia's rice exports have already surpassed the total figure achieved for the entire year in 2012.

Cambodian farmers work on a rice field in Kandal province. According to a local media report, private Cambodian rice exporting companies plan to buy unmilled rice from farmers in the coming harvest season with a goal to export 1 million tonnes of milled rice annually by 2015.

Last year Cambodia shipped out 205,000 tonnes of rice to other countries, but official data from January to July this year shows the country has already exported 207,000 tonnes, the Phnom Penh Post reported on Monday.

July alone saw Cambodia selling 31,000 tonnes of rice, far above its monthly average of 22,000 tones, the report added.

Cambodia benefits from duty-free tariffs under the European Union's Everything But Arms Agreement, which saw 60% of its rice sent to the European market.

Kim Savuth, president of the Khmer Food Company, the second-largest rice exporter, said he was buoyed by prospects for the rest of the year.

"The demand in international markets is on the rise, so our exports will increase the rest of the year," the Post quoted Mr Savuth as saying.

Cambodia projects that it will export 500,000 tonnes of rice this year, growing to at least 1 million tonnes by 2015, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance.