According to a report released by the Cambodian General Administration of Customs, from January to March this year, the total value of Cambodia’s agricultural exports reached US$ 217,800,000, which was US$ 18458 billion over the same period last year.
Rice is the most important agricultural product for export. The total value of exports in the first quarter of this year was US$145.12 million, followed by rubber (US$30.65 million), aquatic products and other agricultural products (US$42.03 million).
Rice exports increased by 21% year-on-year
In the first quarter of this year, Cambodian rice exports increased by 21% over the same period last year.
However, Cambodia’s exports are mainly driven by commodities like garment and footwear. The total value of garment exports in the first quarter of this year reached US$2.294444 million, while footwear products reached US$33.958 million, an increase of approximately 9% compared with the first quarter last year.
As the COVID-19 epidemic hit the United States and European Union countries, international garment and footwear buyers decided to cancel orders or refuse to take delivery, resulting in a month-on-month decline in the export of garment and footwear products. Garment exports drop from US$895.58 million in January to US$77.185 million in February, and then drop to US$623.01 million in March.
Footwear exports drop from US$14.934 million in January to US$10.84 million in February, then drop to US$81.37 million in March.
In order to increase the export of agricultural products, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages the use of Cambodia riel and CNY as the settlement currency for bilateral trade between Cambodia and China.
A few days ago, the National Bank and the Cambodia Rice Alliance held a meeting to discuss how to promote the use of the Cambodia riel and the CNY as the settlement currency for bilateral trade between the two countries, including discussing the establishment of effective mechanisms to encourage importers and exporters of the two countries to choose to trade in their own currencies, and The Central Bank of China strengthens cooperation to help importers and exporters reduce foreign currency exchange risks.
At present, China is the largest rice export market in Cambodia. In the first five months of this year, Cambodia exported about 136,000 tons of rice to China, a year-on-year increase of 25%, accounting for about 40% of total exports.
In order to assist Cambodia to increase rice exports and further strengthen bilateral economic and trade cooperation, the Chinese government this year increased the quota of Cambodian rice exports to the Chinese market to 400,000 tons. In addition, in June this year, Cambodia and China signed the Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Cambodian Mango Export to China, which opened the door to the huge Chinese market for Cambodia most prolific fresh fruit.
At present, China is Cambodia's largest trading partner, foreign direct investment, foreign aid and source of foreign tourists. In 2018, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached US$7.4 billion, of which Cambodia’s exports to China were US$1.377 billion. The two countries have set new goals, and the bilateral trade volume will exceed US$10 billion by 2023. (Jianhua Daily)