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Cambodian Salt Saves Vietnam's Bacon

By: Khoun Leakhana The Mekong Times Posted: February-13-2008 in
Khoun Leakhana The Mekong Times

Too much rain, rapid urbanization and old-fashioned production methods have created havoc in Vietnam's salt production and the country is facing a shortage. Cambodia has been taking up the slack with large volumes of salt being exported to Vietnam since the beginning of this year. Last month, however, production was also low in Cambodia, and officials have no idea if Cambodia's salt production will cope with their neighbor's voracious demands.

"Last month, we produced only 10,000 tons of salt because the weather was not favorable, said Ly Seng, chief of the Kampot Provincial Salt Production Association. "I wouldn't even dare to guess how many tons of salt can be produced in 2008 because the weather is the most important factor in determining production levels." He added that salt production had been good in 2007, with Cambodians consuming around 80,000 tons for the year.

Chhun Hin, chief of the Kampot Provincial Department of Industry Mines and Energy said: "Now it's salt production season, so in the next two months we will be able to see if salt production is going increase or drop. If the weather is good and dry, the yield will be higher." He said that normally salt sold for about 200 to 250 riel per kilogram.

"Since the beginning of Vietnam's shortage, local traders have been buying Cambodian salt and exporting it to Vietnam. There has been no official control over these exports," Ly Seng said. Vietnamese press agency VNS reported that traders could then sell the salt in Vietnam for up to 1000 riel (4,000 Vietnamese Dong) per kilogram, which is a tenfold increase to what it was in Vietnam one year ago.

Khoun Leakhana is a Reporter at The Mekong Times
This article first appeared in The Mekong Times


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