India Queen Basmati Rice
India Queen Basmati Rice

Cambodian rice exporters are facing a tough completion from Myanmar rice exporters. Cambodia and Myanmar both export their rice to European Nations under Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement.

But according to data from European Commission(EC), Cambodia’s rice export to the European Nations in first eight months of crop year 2015-15(September- August) has declined by about 1% to around 165,940 tons from around 167,660 tons last year. On the other hand, Myanmar rice export to EU nations during the same period has increased from 79,940 tons to 144,550 tons making an increase of about 81%.

Some of the exporters say that Cambodia’s rice export to EU nations may fall as of Myanmar’s tuff competition. Vice President of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) said that Myanmar rice is cheaper than that of Cambodia’s rice so the presence of Myanmar as a competitor to Cambodia cannot be ignored. He added that in order to maintain  its margin, Cambodia must focus on fragrant rice export as Myanmar and other rice exporter nations cannot produce the fragrant rice as Cambodia do.

Currently the prices for Cambodian 5% broken rice stands at $435 per ton while that of Myanmar stands at $425 per ton .

Factors like Infrastructural inefficiencies and limited milling capacity have also limited the Cambodian rice export, he said.

Meanwhile, climate experts are expecting the impending El Nino over the next two months to cause a severe drought in Cambodia affecting the countrys 2015 rice production A technical adviser with the Mekong River Commission noted that satellite images suggest record drought conditions in Cambodia this year A very large water deficit has already built up. This really is a very bad time to start going into an even harsher drought event,” he said

Last month, the UNs Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated Cambodias total paddy rice production in 2015 at around 9.3 million tons (around 5.76 million tons, basis milled) assuming favorable weather conditions

USDA estimates Cambodia MY 2014-15 (January 2015- December 2015) paddy rice production at around 7.344 million tons (around 4 7 million tons, milled basis), slightly down from around 7.383 million tons (around 4.725 million tons, milled basis) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Cambodia to export around 1.1 million tons of rice in 2015, up about 10% from an estimated 1 million tons in 2014