Cambodia's Cassava Exports Soar in Q1 2023, Fueled by Robust Demand and Price Surge

In the first quarter of 2023, Cambodia achieved remarkable success in cassava exports, with close to 1.031 million tonnes shipped globally. These exports encompassed various forms, including fresh, dried, powder, and pulp/residue. Notably, nearly three-quarters of this cassava bounty found its way to Thailand, signifying the strength of this trade relationship.

Breaking down the numbers, exports included 822,728 tonnes of fresh cassava, 155,210 tonnes of dried cassava, 14,701.3 tonnes of cassava powder, and 38,252 tonnes of cassava pulp/residue. Thailand was the top destination, receiving 73.2% of the total, with Vietnam at 25.34% and China at 1.49%. Other markets like Japan, Italy, and India also contributed to the global reach of Cambodian cassava.

While year-on-year comparison figures weren't available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, the Ministry of Commerce reported a significant 28.50% surge in exports of "manioc (cassava) and manioc starch" during the first quarter, reaching $285.052 million compared to $221.837 million in the same period the previous year.

Notably, these commerce ministry figures do not seem to encompass cassava pulp and residues, which could indicate even more substantial growth in the cassava sector.

Furthermore, provisional Customs data revealed that exports of "edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers" surged by 30.43% year-on-year, underlining the thriving agri-export sector.

Battambang province, a significant player in the cassava industry, witnessed a considerable increase in cassava exports, with prices for dried cassava rising to 967 riel or 8.2 baht ($0.24) per kilogram, up from 793 riel or 6.5 baht the previous year. Fresh cassava also saw a boost, with prices reaching 389 riel or 3.3 baht, up from 305 riel or 2.5 baht year-on-year.

Experts and officials are optimistic about the future of cassava cultivation and exports, supported by the government's focus on cassava as a priority cash crop and various public and private projects aimed at improving the value chain. Around 80% of cassava grown in provinces bordering Thailand is exported to the neighboring country.

Additionally, Cambodia's "National Policy on Cassava 2020-2025" is set to further enhance the Kingdom's standing as a premier cassava producer and supplier to both domestic and international markets. The policy's main goals are to transition production from subsistence to market-oriented systems, attract investment, and strengthen trade competitiveness.

The recent partnership between the Cambodia Safety Vegetable Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (CSVUAC) and Chinese-owned Global Ecological Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd to export 500,000 tonnes of sliced dried cassava each year to China from Battambang demonstrates a promising growth trajectory.

Overall, cassava plays a significant role in Cambodia's GDP, contributing an estimated three-to-four percent each year, potentially reaching between $849.75 million and $1.134 billion in 2022.

With such positive trends and investments, Cambodia's cassava sector is set to flourish in the coming years, promising prosperity for farmers and a more robust agricultural sector.

For more information: