Cambodia seeks to export rice to Africa through Korean firms

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - Cambodia plans to export rice to African markets through South Korean companies, as its EU market share showed signs of drop in the first half of this year.

Cambodia plans to export rice to African markets through South Korean
companies, as its EU market share showed signs of drop in the first
half of this year.

In addition to the Chinese market, the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF)
expects exports to Africa to help fill the EU market share, said its
secretary-general Moul Sarith.

The CRF met George Kim J H, the CEO of South Korean
manufacturer JS Global Corporation and many other South Korean
government small- and medium-enterprise agents on Wednesday to explore
opportunities to export Cambodian rice to African markets.

Sarith told The Post that JS Global Corporation expressed its interest in investing in rice exports from Cambodia to Africa.

He says Korean companies will only buy pure white rice from the Kingdom to meet market demand in Africa.

“Rice [exports] to Africa does not need to be expensive. Africa just
needs white rice. I think we’ll find a country that needs lower grades
of rice. The living standards of many Africans are still low and they
need affordable rice,” he said.

Cambodia’s rice exports in the first half of this year were 281,538
tonnes – up 3.7 per cent year-on-year. Of these 118,401 tonnes (42.06
per cent) went to China. Only 93,503 tonnes (33.21 per cent) went to
Europe, said a report from the Secretariat of the One Window Service for
Rice Exports for Formality.

“If we can further expand the market, our exports will increase. Rice
exports to Africa can help further boost our exports,” said Sarith.

Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd vice-president Kann Kunthy said his
company welcomes JS Global Corporation but said he is worried that
Cambodian white rice will not be able to compete with that of Vietnam or
Thailand.

“We support new markets, but the main issue is that our white rice cannot compete in terms of price."

“Exports to Africa have no tax exemption, so we have to compete with
Vietnam and Thailand,” he said, adding that prices for Cambodian white
rice currently range between $430 and $460 per tonne, compared to the
$300 price tag in Vietnam and Thailand.

Cambodia’s rice exports to Africa in the first half of this year was
nearly 20,000 tonnes, according to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries report.

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