The Phnom Penh Post
Monday, 05 July 2010 15:01 Chun Sophal
GREEN Trade Company has announced an agreement to export 2,000 tonnes of rice worth more than US$1.6 million to France in August.
Its jasmine rice fetched $810 per tonne from its French buyers as part of a plans to increase sales overseas, Green Trade manager Thun Vireak said.
“We hope the company will be able to find more buyers in the coming months because we are trying to improve production to reach the high standards demanded by the international market,” he said.
Green Trade said it planned to send representatives to Europe to scour the market for international buyers in September.
The firm has sold 2,600 tonnes of rice abroad so far this year, including shipments of 200 tonnes to Russian buyers, 200 tonnes to Poland, 200 tonnes to Latvia and 2,000 tonnes sold to the World Food Programme.
Green Trade, which is under the control of the Ministry of Commerce, formerly possessed authority to issue export licences to rice exporters.
However, Prime Minister Hun Sen formally nullified the requirement for export licences at a government-private sector forum in April, calling it a “barrier for all rice traders”.
Cambodia now faced a bottleneck in rice exports because of a lack of mills to process its produce, Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Mao Thaura said.
Of some 2,000 rice mills scattered through the country, he said only five produced export-quality rice, with potential for milling standing at about 30,000 tonnes of high-quality product in total.
“Cambodia will be able to export rice in larger amount in the future if more quality rice-producing mills can be developed in the country,” he said.