Cambodia is looking to China to further ramp up banana exports which surged 61 percent Jan-July this year compared to the first seven months of 2020.
Exports rose to 270,222 tonnes of fresh bananas during the measurement period, 40 percent of which went to China and 11 percent to Vietnam.
China and Cambodia signed a free trade agreement last year which has helped the Kingdom’s farmers ship more bananas, mangoes and milled rice there, helping offset declining sales in Europe.
Bananas from Cambodia and Vietnam have overtaken Philippine exports to China, according to a report in Business Mirror in April. The Philippines Banana Planter and Exporter Association said export profits dropped 15 percent because the Coronavirus outbreak increased shipping costs and delayed transport. This year almost 40 percent of China’s banana imports have come from Cambodia and Vietnam, the report said.
Exports to Japan are just beginning. They accounted for about 1 percent of the Kingdom’s banana shipments in the first seven months of the year. Lak said the opening of Cambodia’s fresh banana export port to the Japanese market shows that the Kingdom’s products meet international standards. What needs to be done next is to improve the quality and set a competitive price, he said.
Cambodia grows mainly Cavendish bananas, which are a key agricultural export, along with rice, rubber, cassava, cashew nuts, corn, pepper, beans, mangoes and vegetables.
Last year, the country exported over 300,000 tonnes of fresh bananas, bringing in $450 million for Cambodia.