Cambodia's fresh mango exports to international markets from the beginning of 2023 remains small due to unfavourable weather conditions that have affected yield.
Hun Lak, CEO of Rich Farm Asia Co Ltd, a local agricultural investor who grows Keo Romiet mangoes in Kampong Speu province, told The Post on August 17 that the weather and pests have resulted in lower harvest and affected the quality of mangoes over the last two to three years.
Most of the harvest are ordinary mangoes that do not support international demand, which is why the export of fresh mangoes is low.
However, the export of processed mango or dehydrated products has increased significantly.
“Due to the weather, mango yields of export quality fell sharply in the first seven months of this year, but dehydrated product exports rose sharply,” he said. “At the moment, my company is only exporting dehydrated products .”
Based on his experience, Hun Lak proposed as well as encouraged investors to take advantage of the opportunity to launch more processing businesses (agricultural products) as it not only enhances domestic processing capacity and boosts exports, but also helps Cambodia add value and export more finished products.
In the first half of 2023, Cambodia exported 91,687.4 tonnes of fresh mangoes, down 20.9 per cent compared to 115,951.6 tonnes in the same period in 2022, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For dehydrated products, exports rose 43.4 per cent to 16,873.5 tonnes from 11,768.6 tonnes.
Countries that buy mangoes or dehydrated products from Cambodia include Vietnam, China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, the US and UK.
In a previous interview with The Post, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said exports of agricultural products, such as mangoes and bananas, relied heavily on the Chinese market. So, a reduction in Chinese imports inevitably leads to a drop in exports from Cambodia.
When the Chinese market improves, exports are likely to jump up because China is a large market and closely situated, which makes for quick and convenient transportation.
“In addition, the subsequent entry into force of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements will help increase the market for Cambodian agricultural products in future,” he said.
Cambodian fresh mangoes have been exported to China since early May 2021.
In the first 11 months of 2022, the Kingdom exported 152,994.7 tonnes of fresh mangoes and 16,663.5 tonnes of dehydrated products.