No Date Set For Online Commodities Exchange Opening

Despite plans to open a mercantile exchange this month, the opening date for an online commodities market in Cambodia has not yet been decided, the CEO of the company behind the exchange said yesterday.

Shafeequr Rahman, CEO of Cambodian Mercantile Exchange said, said the market, meant to allow farmers and others to start trading goods such as rice and rubber, was facing a “small” delay due to what he described as “normal” startup difficulties but he declined to elaborate.

“The exchange is on track. We are sure to open it. There’s no going back,” he said.

Mr Rahman in March said the bourse would probably begin with about ten listed commodities, pointing to rice, rubber, crude oil, gold and silver as possible candidates.

Yaing Saing Koma, president of Cedac, an organization for the study of agriculture, said in the long run an online commodities exchange would help farmers but it would need a few more years to grow.

“It will be beneficial but will take time…. It is good to start the process now to give it time to develop,” Mr Koma said. Challenges include very limited access to the Internet among farmers and the amount of organization needed to develop a mechanism for online trading, he said.

Currently traders, tend to interact with farmers on an individual basis but greater organization would help producers to negotiate prices and quality of goods, he said.

In Channy, CEO of ACELDA Bank, said that he was unfamiliar the workings of an online commodities but that the average farmer does not have Internet access.

“Most farmers cannot read and do not have computers…. There is not yet the infrastructure,” he said, noting that only a small share of industrialized farmers would be able to work online.

Traditionally traders and farmers trade futures on a one-to-one basis for example when planting rice farmers agree to sell the harvest to a trader in return for fertilizer and maintained water supply, he said.


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