Cambodia’s rice exports fall sharply

Cambodia’s milled rice exports only grew by a dismal 0.7 percent last year compared with 2015 and this was the lowest since 2014, according to government figures released on January 5. “Last year Cambodia only exported 542,144 tons of milled rice and the lowest exports were in the first quarter of the year and December,” said Hean Vanhan, director-general of the agriculture department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.  “The fall in rice exports in those months really affected our overall performance,” said Mr. Vanhan. In the first quarter of last year, a severe drought affected rice production and through the year rice millers had been complaining of the flow of low-grade cheaper rice into the country from Vietnam. Last March, rice millers and exporters wrote to the government urging intervention due to stiff competition in export markets as well as domestic ones. In the letter, they said they were facing a cash crunch due to a flood of low-grade rice from Vietnam while stressing that bankruptcy was widespread among farmers, millers and exporters alike.

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