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RUBBER NEWS INT'L: Rubber, rubber everywhere: With oversupply, Malaysia among countries hit by falling prices
(Last Updated: 25 Mar 2019)

 

 

Rubber, rubber everywhere: With oversupply, Malaysia among countries hit by falling prices

 

Indonesia forges regional cooperation to stabilize rubber prices

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian rubber farmers have been hit by falling prices since Q4 of 2018, prompting the government to find ways to stabilize rubber prices, among other things, by forging cooperation with neighboring countries.

The price of rubber decreased 3.80 JPY/kg or 2.10 percent to 177.40 on March 20 from 181.20 in the previous trading session, and reached an all time high of 526.40 in February of 2011 and a record low of 132.10 in November of 2018, according to information on tradingeconomics.com.

The biggest producers of rubber are China, Indonesia, Malaysia and . Others include Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, , Vietnam,  and India.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has been concerned over the falling rubber prices, as they would affect the welfare of small farmers.

The government had approached Malaysia and Thailand to reduce the rubber supplies to the world’s market, Jokowi told local rubber farmers in Lalang Sembawa Village, Sembawa Subdistrict, Banyuasin District, South Sumatra Province, recently.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand held a Special Ministerial Committee Meeting (MCM) of the  in Bangkok, on February 22, 2019.

The meeting was chaired by Grisada Boonrach, Thai Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, as the host, and attended by Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, and Teresa Kok, Malaysia’s Minister of Primary Industries.

The three ministers were accompanied by senior government officials and members of the Board of Directors of the International Rubber Consortium –a company established by the three members of .3.

The Special Ministerial Committee Meeting was held with the objective of exploring measures to address the prevailing depressed natural rubber price level.

At the meeting, the ministers shared views on the natural rubber market and discussed related issues and efforts to ensure balanced and healthy natural rubber fundamentals toward fair and remunerative price levels.

They reviewed the natural rubber market and price, which has been hovering at a low level throughout the year 2018 until early 2019.

The negative market sentiment and uncertainty in the global economy continued to influence the market, affecting the livelihood of millions of smallholders in this region, according to the ministers, in a joint communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

The ministers, however, were encouraged with the improved global natural rubber price since the middle of December 2018, which provided relief to producers, particularly the smallholders.

The ministers expressed hope that the natural rubber price would improve and hence remain attractive for smallholders to plant and harvest.

The ministers looked at options to improve the price under the current market situation and to formulate action plans to ensure the effectiveness of relevant concerted measures under the Cooperation.

They reiterated the view regarding the importance of the Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS) as an effective instrument to address the transient stock imbalance from the global market.

In this regard, the three countries decided to implement the AETS in order to reduce exports from TIM countries in the amount of 200,000-300,000 MT. They tasked the Senior Officials of ITRC to discuss details of the AETS implementation within two weeks in Thailand.

In terms of each country’s contribution of rubber production, Thailand’s was the highest, with 52 percent; Indonesia, 38 percent; and lastly Malaysia, 10 percent.

The meeting also emphasized the importance of implementing projects under the Demand Promotion Scheme (DPS), which would increase the domestic consumption significantly.

As for Indonesia, for instance, the utilization of natural rubber is present in various infrastructure projects, such as provincial and district roads throughout the country, railroad track dampers, road separators, bridge bearings and  retreading.

In fact, to absorb more rubber from local farmers into the Indonesian market, Jokowi revealed that he had instructed the Minister of Public Works and People’s Housing to use the commodity in combination with asphalt and make use of the rubberized asphalt for road construction.

The uses of rubberized asphalt had been tested in road construction projects in provinces such as South Sumatra, Riau, and Jambi. Although the price of rubberized asphalt was more expensive than that of the ordinary one, the results were remarkable.

Besides, Indonesia’s state-owned plantation firms have been instructed to purchase rubber from local farmers and maintain it as their stock, which could be released to the global market if the price of the commodity increased, Jokowi said.

Apart from the reduction of rubber exports, two other strategies that the ITRC has come up with are the DPS related to domestic consumption in each country and Supply Management Scheme () concerning the commitment to replant natural rubber.

The Indonesian government has committed to replanting 50 thousand hectares of natural rubber plantations per year, according to Darmin Nasution.

“Rubber has never been systematically replanted since its first cultivation 100 years ago. The government has prepared strategies to begin the replanting program. We will do it gradually to reach 50 thousand hectares,” he said.

Nasution said the Agriculture Minister has conducted rubber replanting but it only covered an area of 6 thousand hectares, while the total rubber plantation area in Indonesia has reached 3.6 million hectares.

Therefore, the government would speed up the replanting program to reach 50 thousand hectares per year.

In addition to Indonesia, Thailand has also planned to optimize its replanting program to cover 60 thousand hectares per year, while Malaysia will replant 25 thousand hectares of rubber plantations per year.

The SMS would play an important role in reaching a balance on supply and demand by accelerating the natural rubber replanting.

In the short term, the countries would manage the supply of natural rubber. For the medium term, they would increase the domestic consumption of natural rubber, and for the long term, they will undertake natural rubber replanting.

Another agreement reached during the Bangkok meeting was the establishment of an ASEAN Rubber Council (ARC) as a platform for discussion on the development of the NR industry and cooperation with other ASEAN countries and ASEAN dialogue partners.

 

Kelantan rubber tappers left high and dry by prolonged heatwave

 

 

GUA MUSANG: More than 300 Orang Asli rubber tappers in Kampung Sentok, Pos Hendrop, near here, have been having poor yield from their crops due to the two-month-long heatwave.

They say that the rubber trees here have lost much of their leaves and are yielding diluted latex, which is of poor quality.

The rubber tappers are worried that if the heatwave drags on, their daily income, which is drawn solely from rubber yields, will be badly affected.

"It's good that I managed to save some money from the sale of rubber scrap, to feed the family during the dry season.

"Although the dry weather phenomenon happens every year, this year has been the longest and has affected our income which comes from rubber tapping,” said Amir Pandak, 38.

However, he said he welcomes the recent announcement made by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) to offer subsidies to rubber tappers.

Jemeur Alang, 55, said rubber tappers are actually facing two obstacles – the long, dry season as well as falling rubber prices.

He said he could earn more than RM1,000 a month previously, whereas now he is only getting about RM600 a month from his rubber yield.

"Perhaps the government could help rubber smallholders by easing our burden a bit.

"We are also sad that the rubber price has gone down so much that our monthly income is no longer enough to support us," Jemeur said.

 

Vystar Receives Second European Patent for Reduced Allergenicity Natural Rubber Latex

Source: Vystar Corp
 
 
  • Vystar’s Vytex® deproteinization method reduces allergenicity and odor,
  • Manufacturing process uses less water, chemical and dyes for naturally, purer, whiter and stronger latex

WORCESTER, Mass., March 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Vystar Corp. (OTC Market: VYST) has been granted European, EP Patent No. 2238183 entitled “Natural Rubber Latex Having Reduced Allergenicity and Method of Making Same.”  Vystar now holds 13 foreign and 4 U.S. patents related to its latex deproteinization process for the production of Vytex®, a natural rubber latex (NRL) that is virtually free of allergen-causing latex proteins, thereby reducing risk of developing or experiencing allergic reactions to latex from direct contact.

“This patent extends important intellectual property (IP) protection for Vystar in the production and distribution of Vytex to Europe using the Vytex formula to meet the growing demand for low protein NRL for products including balloons, examination and surgical gloves, condoms, breather bags, latex tubing, probe covers, catheters, threads, foams, cold seal and pressure sensitive adhesives,” stated Steve Rotman, CEO of Vystar.

Rotman continues, “This new patent extends our coverage  for a decade and we have now broadened our protected areas in Europe to include additional manufacturing areas. While we have had broad protection for methods of deproteinization to reduce allergenicity, we now have further coverage for end products as well. We are particularly pleased to have added protection in Germany, The United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy, which account for much of latex product manufacturing in Europe.”   

Latex allergies are a major concern in many people’s daily lives.  Globally, 4.3% of people have latex allergies.  The rate rises to 10-17% for healthcare workers, according to the Journal of Occupational Health.  Symptoms of a latex allergy can be mild, such as rashes or itchy eyes. But in some people, latex elicits a serious, and potentially life-threatening, allergic reaction. While anyone can develop a latex allergy, some people are more at risk than others due to frequent contact with latex and certain related health conditions.

Despite the increased risk of latex allergies, NRL medical gloves are preferred over synthetic latex and vinyl by surgeons and medical professionals due to NRL’s superior tactile sensitivity, puncture resistance, strength, durability and flexibility. This presents a tremendous market opportunity for Vytex as Vytex is virtually free of allergy-causing proteins while providing all the benefits of latex.  

The Vytex deproteinization process removes the odor-causing latex proteins, eliminating the strong odor of traditional latex and creating a stronger latex bond that increases its durability, strength, elasticity. and bright white color.   Vytex deproteinization process makes it more eco-friendly than its competitors, as there is no need for traditional water rinses or fragrance to address the odor or the addition of dyes or bleaches to improve whiteness. Vytex is sustainably sourced and completely biodegradable, in sharp contrast to petrochemical based memory foam, vinyl and synthetic latex

Vytex is currently used in multiple mattress lines, including the new Vytex Cloud Bed-In-A-Box now available at Rotmans Furniture Store and Rotmans.com;  mattress brands including  Natura™, Gold Bond®, and Spring Air; Jeffco-manufactured components for toppers and mattresses, which are sold to multiple manufacturers; and private label pillows, toppers and mattresses sold online via sites such as Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.  Vytex is also used in industrial adhesives, apparel padding and threads, shoes, sports equipment and electrical gloves.  Vystar continues development of new Vytex formulations and is seeking additional manufacturing and development partners for numerous products. Contact Steve Rotman at 508-791-9114 or srotman@vytex.com

Videos on Vystar and products made with Vytex are available at: https://www.vytex.com/blog/category/videos/

About Vystar Corporation
Based in Worcester, Mass., Vystar® Corp. (OTC Pink: VYST) is the exclusive creator of Vytex Natural Rubber Latex (NRL), a multi-patented, all-natural, raw material that contains significantly reduced levels of the proteins found in natural rubber latex and can be used in over 40,000 products, and the owner of RxAir UV light air purification products. Vytex NRL is a 100% renewable resource, environmentally safe, "green" and fully biodegradable. Vystar is working with manufacturers across a broad range of consumer and medical products bringing Vytex NRL to market in adhesives, gloves, balloons, condoms, other medical devices and natural rubber latex foam mattresses, toppers, and pillows. For more information, visit www.vytex.com.

Contacts:
Media: Julie Shepherd, Accentuate PR, 847 275 3643, Julie@accentuatepr.com
Investors: Steven Rotman, Vystar CEO, 508-791-9114, srotman@vytex.com

 

Forward-looking Statements: Investors are cautioned that certain statements contained in this document as well as some statements in periodic press releases and some oral statements of VYST officials are "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Forward-looking statements include statements which are predictive in nature, which depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, which include words such as "believes," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "expects," and similar expressions. In addition, any statements concerning future financial performance (including future revenues, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects, and possible future VYST actions, which may be provided by management, are also forward-looking statements as defined by the Act. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to materially differ from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and to vary significantly from reporting period to reporting period. Although management believes that the assumptions made and expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, there is no assurance that the underlying assumptions will, in fact, prove to be correct or that actual future results will not be different from the expectations expressed in this report. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and VYST has no specific intention to update these statements.

 Rubber growers hope for perks during the drought

TENOM: Several rubber smallholders are disappointed with the price of rubber which remained unchanged, despite the new government previously declaring its willingness to improve the commodity’s prices. 

 

Two rubber smallholders, Agui and Fatimah, from Kampung Mandalon Baru, expressed worry over the declining prices which affect their livelihood. 

 

The situation is getting worse as the dry season has now come to a point where rubber trees start shedding leaves until the month of May, followed by the season when it starts to fruit until July. Rubber trees will not produce much latex during those periods. 

 

“We will have no income for four months, between the periods of March to July. Rubber tapping activities will be temporarily halted until August once the rubber leaves are old enough to tap.  

“We hope the new government will do a one-off incentive programme similar to what the previous government had done to help rubber smallholders during rainy or dry season,” they said. 

 

“Who else do the people, especially smallholders, turn to for help, if not for the government,” said Agui, adding that the people are the nation’s assets because they are taxpayers who generate revenue for the country. 

 

Meanwhile, former a former Community Chairman for Sabah Rubber Industry Board in Ulu Tepoh, Gonsubin Yosundang @ Bernard, said he is confused with the so-called efforts by the government to upgrade the commodity price which has yet to materialise to this day.  

He said even after Parti Warisan Sabah together with Pakatan Harapan formed the new State Government, the Minister from the ministry concerned has stated that they are in the process of negotiating with federal regarding the matter. 

 

“Strangely, until now there is no sign of it,” he said. 

 

The price of rubber as of last Friday states that latex is priced at RM4.20 a kilogramme, Sheet Grade 1 (RM2.45 a kg), Sheet Grade 2 (RM2.06 a kg), Cuplump Grade 1 (RM2.32 a kg), Cuplump Grade 2 (RM1.95 a kg) and Scrap (RM0.45 a kg). 

 

Cambodian rubber exports rise 33%

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A Cambodian farmer tapping a rubber tree to collect the latex. (Khmer Times photo)

Cambodia’s rubber exports to the international market saw an increase of 33% in the first nine months of 2017, while the average price for the commodity went up 53%, compared with the same period last year.

From January to September 2017, Cambodia harvested 115,843 tonnes of rubber, of which 114,991 were exported, earning some $192 million (6.34 billion baht), the reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, the average price of rubber reached $1,672 per tonne, an increase of $578, or 53%, compared with the same period last year, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

 The same report states 432,096 hectares in the country are used as rubber plantations, of which 163,130, or 37.77%, are already harvestable.

Cambodia exports the commodity to , Singapore and Malaysia. In 2016, Cambodia exported about 140,000 tonnes of rubber, earning nearly $180 million.

Pol Sopha, the director-general of the ministry’s general directorate of rubber, said plantations had been harvesting a large amount of rubber and he added he was optimistic about the expansion of the industry.

Lim Heng, the vice-president of An Mady Group Co, called on the government earlier this year to consider reducing tax on rubber exports to boost domestic investment.

“The  is currently positive and stable because it is related to  prices,” Heng said. “But we want the government to consider reducing tax for rubber exports when the global price goes down, to help local investment and  local companies compete with others in the market.”

While trying to expand into international markets, especially China, which is the world’s biggest rubber importer, the government is also working to establish domestic factories for rubber products to create jobs, Sopha added.

China wants to import 300,000 tonnes of rubber from Cambodia by early next year, as the government works on boosting the country’s rubber output.

RM100m allocation for rubberised roads in ports, industrial areas

KUANTAN, Feb 11 — The government has allocated RM100 million this year for the maintenance and construction of roads using cuplump modified bitumen (CMB) in ports and industrial areas. 

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said based on a cost of between RM40 and RM45 per square metre, between 150 and 200 kilometres of such roads can be built.

 

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