Cambodia’s rice exports to EU under fire

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Cambodia rice exportAmid falling local production in Italy, officials there are calling on the European Union to scrap a preferential trade agreement that gives Cambodia’s rice exports duty-free advantages in the global market, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

According to a January 31 report from rice industry publication Oryza, members of the Italian government and the country’s rice sector met to discuss a proposal for changing or discontinuing the Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement, which grants developing nations like Cambodia duty-free and quota-free shipping on their exports, excluding weapons, to European countries.

The proposal comes amid claims that Cambodian rice shipments are deeply affecting the European agricultural sector, though the decrease in Italy is not sizable, according to Oryza, and Cambodian government data shows that Italy’s portion of total rice imports is on the small side.

Oryza’s report says that Italian paddy rice production has fallen 5.6 per cent, from 1.5 million tonnes in 2011 to 1.47 million tonnes in 2013. Although Cambodia’s rice exports last year skyrocketed 85 per cent from 2012, and the EU accounted for about 60 per cent of the 379,000 tonnes, Italy received a mere 9,874 of the whole, placing it 11th overall among 66 countries.

The Italian government’s bid to reduce foreign imports and increase domestic rice production is the second time Cambodia’s EBA status has been threatened in as many months. In late December, allegations that Cambodian rice farmers had intentionally mixed their product with Vietnamese rice prompted a swift warning from EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht that local exporters must ensure cross-border contamination does not occur.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amid falling local production in Italy, officials there are calling on the European Union to scrap a preferential trade agreement that gives Cambodia’s rice exports duty-free advantages in the global market, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia rice exportAmid falling local production in Italy, officials there are calling on the European Union to scrap a preferential trade agreement that gives Cambodia’s rice exports duty-free advantages in the global market, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

According to a January 31 report from rice industry publication Oryza, members of the Italian government and the country’s rice sector met to discuss a proposal for changing or discontinuing the Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement, which grants developing nations like Cambodia duty-free and quota-free shipping on their exports, excluding weapons, to European countries.

The proposal comes amid claims that Cambodian rice shipments are deeply affecting the European agricultural sector, though the decrease in Italy is not sizable, according to Oryza, and Cambodian government data shows that Italy’s portion of total rice imports is on the small side.

Oryza’s report says that Italian paddy rice production has fallen 5.6 per cent, from 1.5 million tonnes in 2011 to 1.47 million tonnes in 2013. Although Cambodia’s rice exports last year skyrocketed 85 per cent from 2012, and the EU accounted for about 60 per cent of the 379,000 tonnes, Italy received a mere 9,874 of the whole, placing it 11th overall among 66 countries.

The Italian government’s bid to reduce foreign imports and increase domestic rice production is the second time Cambodia’s EBA status has been threatened in as many months. In late December, allegations that Cambodian rice farmers had intentionally mixed their product with Vietnamese rice prompted a swift warning from EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht that local exporters must ensure cross-border contamination does not occur.

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