Meat Import Curbs Revive Pork Prices

Photo: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

PHNOM PENH – The price of pork has risen, two months after the start of a six-month ban on imports of some frozen meat. The price now ranges from 10,000 riel to 10,500 riel per kilo.

The ban started on March 12 and affects cow’s tongues, frozen buffalo meat, cow and buffalo livers, cow frozen organs, chicken frozen livers and offal. Intestines, gallbladders and tripes that are fresh, frozen, cooled, salt seasoned, soaked in salt water, dried or roasted are also banned. 

Srun Pov, president of the Cambodian Livestock Breeders Association, said on May 16 that the pork price fell to 5,000 riel per kilo a few years ago, leading to many losses. 

Many farmers gave up on their farms as imports froze domestic pork supplies and slashed prices. Farmers could not bear the costs of production. 

To date, the ban has revived the price to around 10,000 riel and 10,500 riel but farmers still cannot make much money. 

Pig farmers should at least make 1,000 riel profit per kilogram, Pov said. This would cover their losses in these past years, as farming demands high capital and has many disease risks. 

“The current capital is 9,200 to 9,500 riel per kilo. If they sell it for between 10,000 riel and 10,500 riel per kilo, it’s acceptable for them, but not profitable yet. 

“Farming is challenging, especially with the African swine fever that can kill all the pigs,” he said. 

The price rises did not guarantee stable market prices and farmers were still evaluating their stability and watching the government’s and ministries’ actions on the issue.

“The farmers are wondering how long the price will last, and how much the relevant ministries are paying attention to the issue,” Pov said.

Pork supplies were not too low or high anymore, but he had seen small amounts of frozen meat being imported illegally from Thailand in taxi and buses and on motorbikes. 

Regardless, the ban had been successful, Pov said. On behalf of pig farmers, he thanked the government for implementing the measure in a timely manner.

To support the measure, Prime Minister Hun Manet appealed to meat wholesalers, businesses, and the public to buy meat from local suppliers and retailers to support farmers and reduce frozen meat imports. 


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Meng Seavmey for Cambodianess. 

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