Cambodia records 10-pct rise in rice export in first 5 months

  • PHNOM PENH, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia exported 257,637 tons of milled rice in the first five months of 2017, up 10 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest report on Saturday. The Southeast Asian nation exported its rice to 57 countries and regions around the world, said the report compiled by the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export. Three top buyers are China, France and Poland, it said, adding that China imported 88,769 tons of milled rice from Cambodia during the January-May period this year, France imported 33,459 tons, and Poland purchased 23,036 tons. Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said in mid-May after returning from a visit to China that China had agreed to increase its import quota for Cambodian milled rice to 300,000 tons in 2018, up from 200,000 tons in 2017. Cambodia produces more than 9 million tons of paddy rice a year. With this amount, it has over 3 million tons of milled rice left over for annual export, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
  • Decision time for rice brand

  • The debate continues on the single brand to be used for Cambodian rice exports. KT/Chor Sokunthea Government task forces will meet this week to finalise a single brand under which Cambodian rice will be exported. Those at the meeting will include the Cambodia Rice Federation, the Agriculture Ministry and the Commerce Ministry.  “We don’t know when the exact date for registration will be because they just applied for registration last week,” said Op Rady, director of the intellectual property rights department of the Ministry of Commerce. “We have talked several times. The CRF wants to use the name Angkor Malis but the Agriculture Ministry suggested it reconsider the name. Hean Vanhan, director-general the general directorate of agriculture, said registration of a single rice brand was the duty of the commerce ministry. Agriculture officials said Cambodia had more than 10 varieties of fragrant rice, and should not single out one as a single brand.  “The CRF selected ‘Angkor Malis’ as the brand, but this is not right because there is already a rice seed called malis,” Mr Vanhan said.  “What the private sector wants to do is to steal foreign branding to make the rice similar to Thailand, since the Thai Hom Mali is already famous.  “If we use ‘Angkor Malis,’ which is specific only to Cambodian premium rice ‘malis,’ it has a different taste to Cambodian fragrant rice such as phka romduol, phka chansensor and phka khnei.  “If customers buy Angkor Malis one day, it may have a different taste when they buy it in the future, even though it carries the same brand,” Mr Vanhan said.  He suggested that a non-specific ‘Angkor Rice,’ with the specific variety written underneath would help clear up the confusion and prevent people from thinking they were buying a specific rice variety when they might be buying a different premium rice. CRF secretary-general Moul Sarith said all documents for brand registration had been prepared but the CRF wanted a common name and agreement from stakeholders.  “We have already summited to the Ministry of Commerce for registration on the national rice branding and we plan to finish by June. “Now we have to meet with Agriculture Ministry to decide the common name and we want all relevant stakeholders to agree a single name,” Mr Sarith said.   Mr Sarith added that after several talks involving CRF management and studies both of the local and international market, the CRF wanted the rice to be branded ‘Angkor Malis’.  “However, the Ministry of Commerce asked us to recheck the name while Ministry of Agriculture suggested that we get a better name. “Thus, we want to have a meeting with Agriculture Ministry and Commerce Ministry to decide the name. We have enough documents for registration. When we finish the meeting, we want to register at the same time,” Mr Sarith said.   Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice (Cambodia) said previously that the long delay in choosing a brand name meant that exporters were still using their own  names for Cambodian rice, such as jasmine rice or fragrant rice.  “We suggest having one name to identify Cambodian premium rice since we don’t want each company having different names and standards for export to foreign countries,” Mr Saran said. “We want Cambodia to have a single brand and standard.” 
  • Vietnam to Sell Bangladesh 1 Million Tonnes of Rice Annually

  • Hanoi. Vietnam will sell 1 million tonnes of various types of rice to Bangladesh annually between 2017-2022 as part of a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries on Tuesday (23/05), Vietnam's trade ministry said. Bangladesh, facing a rice shortage due to natural disasters and crop failures, wants to buy around 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of Vietnam's 5-percent white rice immediately and plans to increase rice imports from Vietnam to 500,000 tonnes by end-2017, the trade ministry said in a statement.
  • Cambodia to export more rice to China

  • May 19, 2017 - by Eric Schroeder

     
    Rice
     
    WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — China is expected to become a bigger export market for Cambodian rice, with reports suggesting China will import 200,000 tonnes of rice per year from Cambodia, according to a May 15 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    The USDA said Cambodia’s rice millers have shifted their attention to the expanding Chinese market in light of new rules in the European Union that have tightened the residue limit of tricyclazole on rice. Cambodian rice farmers commonly use tricyclazole to control rice blast fungus, but effective June 2017 the E.U. said it will implement a new threshold of tricyclazole residue for white rice — 0.01 mg per kg of paddy — and in December 2017 will implement a new tricyclazole residue level for fragrant rice — at 0.01 mg per kg.

    “Amid rice millers’ concern of the E.U.’s potential ban on Cambodian rice that fails to meet the chemical residue threshold, the government of Cambodia is looking into substitute options and raising awareness of farmers on proper usage of fungicides,” the USDA said.

    Cambodia exported a total of 542,144 tonnes of milled rice in 2016, up 0.7% from 2015. China was the largest destination, importing 127,460 tonnes, a figure that is forecast to grow to 200,000 in 2017, the USDA said. The increase in demand from China is expected to outpace the potential decline in demand from traditional E.U. buyers.

    “Last December, China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) approved 18 Cambodian rice millers for exporting rice to China as part of an agreement signed between COFCO and the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF),” the USDA said. “Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) selected 28 rice millers who have demonstrated competence to meet the requirements for exporting rice into China. The CRF is urging the government to facilitate more access to the China market to offset potential decrease demand from E.U.

    “The cross border rice trade is a vital pathway for Cambodia rice export into Thailand and Vietnam. However, Thailand’s reduction in stock and a production recovery this year show no signs of an increase in import demand. Meanwhile, the cross border trade with Vietnam is robust mostly because of strong demand for Cambodian rice to serve local Vietnamese consumers who prefer quality fragrant rice.”

    Overall milled rice exports are forecast to increase 5% to 570,000 tonnes in 2017, and 8% to 615,000 tonnes in 2018, the USDA said.

     
  • PM: China raises rice quota

  • A team of farmers prepare to plant rice seedlings in a paddy in Kampot province last year.   China has agreed to increase its import quota for Cambodian rice to 300,000 tonnes by next year, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday following his return from Beijing where he attended the Belt and Road initiative summit. In a post to his official facebook page, Hun Sen detailed a conversation he had with Chinese president Xi Jinping, who said China would increase its imports of Cambodian rice from the previously agreed limit of 200,000 tonnes a year to 300,000 tonnes in 2018. The message also said Xi expressed hope that bilateral trade between the two countries would reach $6 billion by 2020. Hun Sen added that during his visit earlier this week he sought to promote Cambodian trade and tourism ties with China. He added that Cambodia will seek to open trade centres in several Chinese provinces to exhibit some of the Kingdom’s export products and provide information related to tourism and investment opportunities. He called for Chinese businessmen to further invest in Cambodia, noting the country’s peace and macroeconomic stability. The Cambodian premier said he was impressed by the outcome of the Belt and Road initiative summit due to its potential to increase connectivity between countries in the region and the rest of the world. The prime minister added that 100 Chinese companies were currently looking to invest in a special economic zone near Sihanoukville, symbolising the strong economic relationship between the two countries.
  • Millers push for China access

  • Rice is harvested from a field using a small harvest machine in Tbong Khmum provice last year.
     
    Rice is harvested from a field using a small harvest machine in Tbong Khmum provice last year. Heng Chivoan

    Millers push for China access

    Wed, 5 April 2017
     
    Amid concerns that the European Union could reject shipments of Cambodian rice, exporters are pushing for more access to China as an alternative market for the Kingdom’s principal agricultural commodity. Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said just 26 Cambodian millers have satisfied China’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, making them eligible to export rice to the Chinese market. However, another 55 millers “have the quality and capacity to export to China” and have requested an inspection by China’s AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) to approve their shipments for export. “We met Ministry of Agriculture officials to seek their assistance in opening the door wider for rice exports to China,” Lak said yesterday. “We hope that officials from AQSIQ China will come to inspect the rice millers’ production lines soon.” According to Lak, Cambodia’s rice industry has struggled since 2015, with about 10 millers forced into bankruptcy and others deep in debt. He said the global market has become increasingly “narrow and strict”, and unless Cambodian exporters can develop new markets the rice industry could soon collapse. The latest challenge to the sector is the EU’s call on farmers to eradicate the use of the fungicide Tricyclazole in rice production. The European Commission has given Cambodian producers of white rice until June and fragrant rice until December to meet its revised threshold levels – 0.01 milligrams of Tricyclazole residue per kilo of rice, far below the current limit of 1 milligram per kilo. While the extent of Tricyclazole use in Cambodia is unclear, Lak said it could be difficult for producers to ensure the compound’s complete eradication in such a short timeframe. “We are concerned that if we cannot comply with their requirement we will lose this market, even though we have requested that the EU give us more time to build our capacity before the regulation comes into effect,” he said The EU is Cambodia’s largest market for rice, accounting for 63 percent of the 542,144 tonnes the country exported last year. China, however, has grown to become a major buyer in recent years, importing 127,460 tonnes of Cambodian rice last year and agreeing to import up to 200,000 tonnes this year. Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, one of the country’s biggest exporters, said that while the EU’s decision to eradicate Tricyclazole poses a challenge, Cambodia’s use of the fungicide was still quite limited compared to its rival rice-producing neighbours. “It’s a new challenge for us, but we should be able to manage as this chemical is not used extensively in rice production here,” he said. “However, the government should control rice imports and smuggling to prevent low-quality [tainted rice] from being mixed in with our exports.” Saran said the Ministry of Agriculture should work quickly to have more rice millers approved for export to China given the market’s size and potential growth. “The 26 [approved] rice millers will not be able to supply the annual quota set by our agreement with China,” he said. Hean Vanhan, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, said rice millers need to understand more about the demands and criteria of buyers in order to compete in international markets. “If they have suitable quality and standards they will be able to export their rice and expand their markets, including in big markets like China,” he said.