Prices fluctuate due to poll

July 30th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

As election data trickled in on Sunday evening and a fear set in borne of uncertainty and a beefed-up police presence, demand for basic commodities surged, food prices briefly rose, and some banks saw an expected rise in withdrawals.

Sales of rice jumped from their normal volume on Sunday, shop owners said yesterday, and prices of noodles doubled amid an election climate that drove up costs of food staples. …

Initial numbers showed that the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party took home 55 seats out of the 123 up for grabs in the National Assembly; the remaining 68 were swept up by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in an election marred by allegations of names deleted from voter lists and other forms of disenfranchisement. …

As reports of small-scale rioting and increased security poured in, lines formed at ACLEDA bank branches in the city on Sunday night, and some ATMs were emptied before being refilled yesterday.

The panic spread, and a handful of customers lined up were only doing so because they saw others taking money out and grew worried. …

Hor Kimsay

FAO sees slight decline in Cambodian rice harvest this year

July 12th, 2013 , The Cambodia Herald

Cambodia’s rice harvest is forecast to reach 9.1 million tonnes this year, down from an estimated 9.3 million tonnes last year but up from 8.8 million tonnes in 2011, the Food and Agricultural Organization said Thursday.

The estimates were contained in the UN agency’s quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report which showed global rice output expanding 1.9 percent to 500 million tonnes. …

“In addition, production growth this season could be dampened by expectations of falling prices and recent policy changes that may encourage farmers to shift to other crops.” …

The Cambodia Herald Staff

Rising Demand Boosts Organic Rice Industry

July 10th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Production of Cambodian organic rice is rising rapidly as international demand for the product increases, experts said at a forum for growers and other in­dustry members held Tuesday at the Phnom Penh headquarters of agricultural NGO Cedac.

“In the first six months of this year we’ve exported about 200 tons of organic rice, which is about double last year’s figure,” said Cedac president Yang Saing Koma, adding that farmers aren’t producing enough to meet de­mand. “We hope that by next year, we’ll be exporting 1,500 tons annually.”

Although there are about 100,000 farmers who produce organic rice in Cambodia, only about 200 meet international standards, Mr. Saing Koma said. …

Claudius Bredehoeft, national project coordinator for GIZ, the international development arm of the German government, said at the forum that Cambodian farmers are well-positioned to carve out a niche in the rice market.

“Since Thailand has introduced minimum rice prices, and Cambodia can export tax-free to the E.U., it has advantages Thailand and Vietnam do not,” he said. “With the fair trade and organic price premium, there are good market incentives to [continue to grow the rice industry].” …

Mech Dara and David Kaner

ADB to loan $55 million to Cambodia’s rice sector

June 28th, 2013 , The Cambodia Herald

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $55 million to help transform the rice sector of Cambodia into a viable commercial industry as well as taking care of the land and water resources. …

ADB’s Climate-Resilient Rice Commercialization Sector Development Program―which will run through to 2019―will help address regulatory obstacles, improve rice value chain infrastructure, and support services, while protecting agricultural land and raising its productivity, according to an ADB statement.

The loan will be given to fund projects in the provinces of Battambang, Kampong Thom and Prey Veng, the largest rice producing provinces in the country, to help farmers improve crop productivity and efficiency. …

In addition to the ADB’s loans, ADB will also administer loans and grants of $9.5 million from the ADB’s Strategic Climate Fund and a $14.6 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The Government of Cambodia will supply $8.3 million for a total program investment cost of $87.4 million, as reported by ADB.

The Cambodia Herald Staff

Thai rice cuts pose problems

June 21st, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

Thailand’s recent announcement of a 20 per cent price cut within the government rice-pledging scheme will have little impact for Cambodian exports, but farmers may feel the effects, say industry insiders.

In an article published in the Bangkok Post on June 19, Thailand’s cabinet had agreed to reduce the price paid to rice farmers, from 15,000 baht ($490) to 12,000 baht per tonne.

Sok David, vice president of Golden Rice Cambodia told the Post yesterday that he does not think the reduced price will affect the Cambodian rice industry yet as it is still higher than paddy prices in Cambodia. …

On average, the price of Thai’s fragrant rice is $1,150 per tonne, $100 to $150 higher per tonne than Cambodian fragrant rice. …

Cambodia has about three million hectares for paddy cultivation producing about 9 million tonnes per year in both the rainy and dry seasons.

Hor Kimsay

Against the Grain

May 30th, 2013 , China Economic Review

On the palm-studded plains of Cambodia, rice farmers’ eyes light up with the prospect of sending their crop northward to China. The poor Southeast Asian nation had been trying for several years to export rice to the mainland but only last year did it gain approval from Chinese regulators to start shipments.

Since then, the amount of rice Cambodia has shipped to China has skyrocketed. Although negligible in the international rice trade, the country exported more than 12,000 tons of rice to China in the first four months of the year, double the full-year total for 2012.

Cambodian farmers have capitalized on a trend that surprised – even alarmed – rice traders at the end of 2011. Chinese rice imports jumped about 230% that year, and in 2012 it became the world’s second-largest rice importer. Next year, the USDA predicts China will overtake Nigeria for the No. 1 spot. …

China Economic Review Staff

Merit in rice trade plan

November 15th, 2012 , Bangkok Post

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal allowing the Commerce Ministry to form a rice trade partnership with Asean’s four other rice-producing countries, namely Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, to stabilise rice prices in the global market and to promote food security in the region.

The plan involves the creation of a rice trade zone (RTZ) in Asean which is slated to be first implemented between Thailand and Cambodia with Cambodian paddy imported into Thailand, milled and then exported by Thailand on behalf of Cambodia. …

Bangkok Post

Paddy Rice Price Fluctuates

November 6th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

The price of paddy rice in Cambodia’s northwestern provinces jumped to 1,500 riel from 1,350 riel per kilogram in mid-October on a lack of supply, but quickly fell to 1,360 riel. Meanwhile, the prices in the Cambodia-Vietnam border provinces rose from 1,300 riel to 1,390 riel per kilogram, according to rice traders. …

He [Sen Rith, president of Siem Reap Rice Milling Association] said the price of milled rice around the world is stable; but if the price of paddy in Cambodia is unstable, it is as a result of rice traders who inflate prices, causing a bubble. “If the price drops during harvesting season, and it is higher after that, it is the trader’s problem because prices in the world markets are stable,” he said. …

By Rann Reuy

RPT-World Bank cuts East Asia GDP outlook, flags China risks

October 7th, 2012 , Reuters

The World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region on Monday and said there was a risk the slowdown in China could get worse and last longer than expected…

“Economic projections for EAP (East Asia and Pacific) are surrounded by considerable uncertainties, and a variety of risks continue to loom over the global and regional economy,” the World Bank said..

The World Bank added the recent spikes in global food prices were less of a risk to the East Asia and Pacific region as rice markets had not been affected.

“Rice prices have been relatively stable, with most of the price risks on the downside as stocks in Thailand continue to build as a result of the new floor price policy, and good crops in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines,” it said…

Reuters Staff

Asia Rice- Thai Exporters Seek Vietnamese, Cambodian Rice To Meet Deals

August 12th, 2012 , The Southeast Asia Weekly

Demand for low-quality white rice from African buyers has forced Thai exporters to purchase additional stocks from Cambodia and Vietnam to meet orders because domestic rice is in short supply due to government buying scheme, traders said on Wednesday.

The price of 25 per cent broken grade Thai white rice jumped to $545 per tonne on Wednesday, some way above the $520-530 per tonne being offered recently, although the benchmark 100 per cent B grade was steady at $580, they said. …

Due to a lack of broken grade rice on the market, some Thai exporters have had to import some from Cambodia, or even Vietnam via Cambodia. …

Harvesting of the Mekong Delta’s summer-autumn crop has peaked and will end later this month, meaning no fresh grain supply to weigh on prices in coming weeks.

Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat

Slow outlook for 2012 rice exports

May 17th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

Rapidly increasing logistics costs and low regional rice prices would hinder Cambodia’s rice-export target this year, with one expert saying that milled-rice exports could fall to half of last year’s shipments.

The cost of shipping rice to Europe climbed by more than 50 per cent between February and April, and have continued to rise, experts said.

While logistics costs for regional rice producers have also increased on rising fuel prices, Cambodian rice reached Europe this month at a US$200 markup per shipping container over those from Thailand and Vietnam. …


Don Weinland, P. 7

Milled rice exports fall in January

January 25th, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

Some of Cambodia’s biggest exporters have experienced a sizeable decline in milled-rice shipments this month, with one insider putting the number as high as 40 per cent year-on-year.

The waning figure stands in stark contrast to last year’s milled-rice export numbers, which increased about 22 per cent year-on-year in 2011, according to Ministry of Commerce data.

Prices for premium milled rice in Pakistan, India and Vietnam had fallen far below Cambodian prices this month, Mega Green Imex Cambodia managing director Outh Renne said.

That decline rendered the Kingdom uncompetitive on international markets even with the duty-free preference it enjoyed in the European Union, he said.

Cambodian rice prices have suffered wild fluctuations since the product was first exported about two years ago, according to Outh Renne.

The changes in price, which have moved by more than US$100 a tonne during the past year, had stalled long-term rice contracts, he said…

Don Weinland and Sieam Bunthy, p.1

As rice harvest begins, grain’s price soars

November 24th, 2011 , The Cambodia Daily

As the harvest of the wet season rice crop gets under way in many parts of the country, rice prices have started to increase, rice millers said yesterday. They said prices were now up about 15 percent compared to the same time last year, but the millers disagreed on what was driving this year’s price increase.

According to Ministry of Agriculture data released Tuesday, about 360,000 hectares of rice paddy has now been harvested, representing about 16 percent of the total planted annually, while 1.18 million tons of paddy had been reaped, which is about 18 percent of last year’s harvest…

Hul Reaksmey, p.25

Milled rice exports climb, prices soar

November 18th, 2011 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s milled rice exports increased by more than seven per cent year-on-year during the first 10 months of 2011, while international demand for the grain drove up rice prices by nearly 200 per cent, commerce officials said.

The Kingdom exported more than 136,000 tonnes of milled rice between January and October, nearly 9,300 tonnes more than the same period in 2010, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce…

Sieam Bunthy, p.7

Cambodian farmers could benefit from new Thai rice prices

September 16th, 2011 , The Cambodia Daily

The Thai government’s plan to implement a minimum price for Thailand’s rice growers next month is expected to push up paddy prices for Cambodian farmers during the upcoming harvest, agriculture experts said yesterday…

Agriculture experts said rice paddy prices in Cambodia would likely increase due to rising global prices or because of an influx of Thai traders who would seek to buy cheaper paddy in Cambodia. They cautioned, however, that it was hard to predict market dynamics…

(Paul Vrieze and Chhorn Chansy, p.31)