2015 will remain a challenging year for Cambodian rice exports, with continued price softening and the unloading of massive volumes of rice by Thailand on a gradual basis.

Major challenges still linger for the Cambodian rice industry, primarily access to finance for working capital so that millers can have easy loans to buy paddy. Donors are trying, with the government, to come up with the “warehousing receipt” concept, using paddy stock as collateral for loans, but this has been in discussion for two years now and I don’t see how the donors or the government can move on this, considering the collateral management agents they had to hire to manage the paddy warehouse may not have the in-depth knowledge and the local network to ensure paddy sent into those warehouses will be of good quality. 

We heard the government, via the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is working on a $300 million Chinese loan to establish a series of silos and warehouses to cater to the rice sector, but considering the magnitude of such a project, I certainly don’t see it being operational in 2015, especially when the Ministry of Economy and Finance has yet to sign the MoU with the Chinese.

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