Cambodia’s exports of crude palm oil have increased, though the price has declined in line with falling global prices, according to an official and a producer.

The Kingdom exported 17,380 tons of crude palm oil in 2015, compared with 12,211 tons the previous year, an increase of 42.3 percent, according to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Malaysia imported the biggest amount of crude palm oil from the Kingdom. Cambodia exported 12,674 tons to Malaysia, 1,100 tons to China and 2,000 tons to Thailand, the report said.  

Khan Samban, the director of the Agro-Industry Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told Khmer Times yesterday that crude palm oil exports were on the rise due to increases in oil palm production. Malaysia tops the list of countries importing the product from Cambodia, according to Mr. Samban.  “When oil palm producers produce more, exports will increase and the product price is based on the international market,” Mr. Samban said. “We export crude palm oil to other countries and they process the oil into the finished products, then we import the finished products from them,” he added.  

“However, I know the price of crude palm oil saw a decline due to the plummet in international oil prices.”

Tan Monivann, the vice-president of Mong Reththy Group, told Khmer Times that crude palm oil exports were favorable in 2015, while his company mostly exported crude palm oil to the Indian and European markets. “The company’s palm oil exports are on the rise, but the price is not,” Mr. Monivann said.

He said the crude palm oil price was between $540 and $560 per ton in 2015, depending on the country, but the price has now declined about 30 percent compared with 2014 because of the dropping oil prices. “We are worried about the price decline. However, we still continue to expand our oil palm farms,” Mr. Monivann said. Now the company is growing trees on 10,000 hectares, he added.

Biodiesel, lipstick, cooking oil and many food products can be produced from palm oil, he said. The ministry’s report revealed the total number of agricultural product exports was about 4.16 million tons in 2015, compared with 3.44 million tons in 2015, an increase of 20.66 percent.  

Mr. Samban said agricultural product exports increased in general due to a growing awareness of Cambodia’s quality in the sector. “Almost every agricultural product saw an increase in exports because the international market is starting to recognize our products and the government has paved the way for agricultural exporters to have markets for their products,” he said.

KhmerTimes/Sum Manet

Wednesday, 16 March 2016