Rice Exports Inch Higher As Thailand Ups Imports

Cambodian rice exports inched up one percent in the first five months compared to the same period last year, while rice imports from Thailand also increased following offloading of the country’s stocks, official figures show.

Milled rice exports reached 148,262 tons this year compared with 146,845 the year before, according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality.

Imports from Thailand, the sixth biggest importer of Cambodian rice in 2013, also rose sharply from a total of 300 tons during the first quarter to 1,550 tons by the end of May.

The increase in imports is a result of fruitful negotiations over price between Cambodian exporters and Thai buyers, following Thailand’s rush to sell its 13 million tons of rice amassed during a state-buying rice scheme that collapsed last year.

Lim Bunheng, CEO of Loran Group PLC, said Cambodian sellers have had to concede to Thai offers and lower their prices to get rid of their rice while the global price of rice plummeted.

“The stockpile in Cambodia remains high so exporters have been forced to sell their rice at low prices.”

According to industry publication Oryza, Thailand’s military government has suspended the selling of rice stocks, which analysts predict will push up prices.

styllis@cambodiadaily.com, sothear@cambodiadaily.com

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