After the EU imposed tariffs on Cambodian rice imports, Cambodia’s rice exports to China surged. There are reports that China’s surpassing the EU has become Cambodia’s largest rice export market.
The EU imposed a three-year tariff on imported rice in Cambodia and Myanmar in January this year to curb the surge in rice imports from these two countries and protect rice producers such as Italy within the EU.
Cambodia contested the European Court of Justice, stating that the measures taken by the European Union were not related to any unfair trade and were based on generalized and erroneous data.
After the EU imposed tariffs, Cambodia ’s rice exports to the EU in February were only more than 10,000 tons, which plummeted 57.8 percent.
According to World Bank statistics, Cambodia exported 270,000 tons of rice to the EU in 2018, accounting for 43% of Cambodia’s total rice exports.
However, Cambodia ’s rice exports to China surged 45.6 percent, making up for the decline in exports to the EU. Cambodia ’s overall rice exports in the first two months of this year increased by 2%.
Cambodia currently enjoys everything from the EU’s preferential trade policy to less developed countries, Everything But Arms, EBA, and exempts customs duties on goods exported to the EU.
However, due to its poor human rights situation, Cambodia faces the risk of losing special privileges to enter the EU, the world’s largest trading area.