Cargo Traffic Grows at Sihanoukville Port

The total weight of goods transported through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in the first six months of the year was up 15 percent compared with the same period last year, according to figures released Thursday.

Some 1.51 million tons of goods passed through the port in the year up to the end of June, compared with 1.31 million tons last year, according to the figures, which an official said reflected the high demand for building materials in Cambodia’s growing economy.

The majority of the goods were imports, accounting for 1.16 million tons, nearly 12 percent up on 2012.

Imports of fuel increased by 23 percent and steel imports through the port were up by 49 percent, according to the figures.

“When the economy is growing, the number of cargo shipments increases,” said Lou Kimchhun, director-general at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

“There is a high demand for construction materials.”

The figures also show positive news for the agricultural sector, with machinery imports up by 15 percent, and milled rice exports almost doubling from just over 73,000 tons in the first six months of 2012 to more than 140,000 tons during the same period this year.

“Most of the milled rice is exported to European countries,” Mr. Kimchhun said.

Chan Saruth, director of the machinery department at the Agriculture Ministry, said more farmers were using mechanized techniques, as many people migrate to cities for work, hence the increased machinery imports.

“Another reason is that our farmers are now increasing their production time, planting rice one or two or three times each year,” Mr. Saruth said.

© 2013, Hul Reaksmey. All rights reserved.