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RUBBER NEWS INT'L: India’s move to ‘exit’ the RCEP deal was appropriate
(Last Updated: 06 Nov 2019)



India’s move to ‘exit’ the RCEP deal was appropriate

 India’s decision to officially ‘exit’ from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), at least for the time being, seems to have been the best course of action under the circumstances. The Prime Minister was right in observing that “opening the vast Indian market must be matched by openings in some areas where our businesses can also benefit.” Indeed, as a NITI Aayog report and Economic Survey 2015-16 have pointed out, India’s free trade pacts with ASEAN have widened the trade imbalance with these countries.

Top rubber producer Thailand hit by fungal disease outbreak


BANGKOK (Reuters) - A key rubber tree-growing area in Thailand has been hit by an outbreak of a fungal disease, which could halve the area’s output, the country’s rubber authority said on Monday.Krissada Sangsing, director of the agency’s rubber research institute, said the disease threatens to cut output in the affected areas by up to 50%. The agency also told Reuters that damage was estimated to be around 100,000 rai (16,000 hectares) as of Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Workers move baskets filled with rubber at the central rubber market in Nong Khai, Thailand, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Thailand is the world’s top producer and exporter of the natural rubber, accounting for up to 40% of global rubber supply.

The disease, called Pestalotiopsis, has spread into Thailand after hitting plantations in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia. The three countries account for around 70% of the world’s natural rubber production.

The Rubber Authority of Thailand said the disease, which causes leaves to turn yellow and spotted as it spreads, was recently found in three districts in Narathiwat, a key rubber growing province in southern Thailand.




Australian tyre recycler welcomes EU investigation into crumb rubber

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, an agency of the EU has established a time table of the steps they are taking, which is driven by health concerns from the use of crumb rubber on sporting fields or children’s playgrounds, as well as emissions from using the material as furnace fuel. It mainly investigates the environmental impact from the use of crumb rubber granules with most of the material coming from end-of-life recycled tyres. They have particularly highlighted their concern at the presence of the carcinogenic PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons).

Trevor Bayley, the Chief Operating Officer of Green Distillation Technologies, said that they welcomed the investigation, but concede that, without knowing all the technical requirements, the cost of making reductions in PAH’s would appear to make the cost of crumb rubber prohibitive. Green Distillation is an Australian start-up with world-first tyre recycling technology. It claims to have the only tyre recycling process in the world that does not create noxious emissions and the oil, carbon and the steel tyre skeleton that we create are valuable and highly useful.

“We also hope that the investigation encompasses the environmental effects of heavy rain on the passage of crumb rubber into stormwater and then into rivers and waterways. Currently, we are operating a tyre recycling processing plant in Warren, Western New South Wales and are already scaling up those operations and we are at the capital raising stage for another in Toowoomba, Queensland, after having received all the necessary approvals, but failed in our bid for a Queensland Government recycling grant for half the cost. Today, I feel vindicated by the actions of the EU as I have been saying for years that crumbing rubber into small pieces is not effective tyre recycling as it only reshapes the old tyre, whereas we transform it into new useful products. The issue is vulcanisation of the rubber as it produces a substance that will last for more than 500 years, which is the same length of time a piece of crumb rubber will last,” Trevor Bayley said.


Vietnam’s rubber exports drop in May


Vietnam’s rubber exports drop in MayHanoi (VNS/VNA) – Vietnam’s rubber exports fell in May due to China’s changing policies and fears over the US-China trade war, a representative of the  Group (VRG) has said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in May, rubber exports reached 80,000 tonnes, worth 116 million USD, up 6 percent in volume and 7 percent in value compared with . However, those figures were down 26.5 percent in volume and 26.2 percent in value year-on-year.

Fortunately, in the first five months of the year, rubber exports reached 495,000 tonnes, worth 673 million USD, up nearly 12 percent in volume and 4 percent in value year on year.

The reduction in May’s export value was due to China’s increase of import tariffs for mixture rubber to 10 percent, said Duong Tuan Anh, deputy head of VRG’s Market Department.

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Mixture rubber shipped to China made up half of rubber export volume from Vietnam in the first  of this year.

The trade war was also encouraging manufacturers and traders to be cautious over the movements of the global , especially with the G20 conference in Japan coming at the end of June, he said.

The prolonged trade war would affect agricultural exports and rubber exports in particular because China is the largest export market of Vietnam’s rubber, accounting for more than 60 percent of total rubber exports, he said.

Meanwhile, the US increased taxes from 10 percent to 25 percent for some rubber products imported from China, including rubber latex, conveyor belts, pneumatic tires, gloves and gaskets from May 10. The China Automobile Manufacturers Association said the US tax policy could have a big impact on the country’s auto parts exports. That could lead to reduction in rubber imports from Vietnam for production of auto parts.

However, the trade war could attract investment to Vietnam’s  as firms moved rubber product factories from China to Vietnam to avoid the US tariffs, he said.

Besides those factors, the prolonged hot weather in Vietnam, Thailand and China had slowed rubber output, especially in May – the first month of the new harvest season.

However, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (), in 2019, supply of rubber would continue to exceed demand with supply of 14.5 million tonnes, including an inventory of 2.9 million tonnes from 2018, with demand of 14.4 million tonnes, Anh said.

He noted that the Vietnam Rubber Group had managed nearly 420,000 hectares of rubber in three countries,replika órák Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with total annual consumption of about 400,000 tonnes.-VNS/VNA


Cambodia: Falling rubber prices causing concern

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:    












Rubber being harvested at a farm in Ratanakkiri. KT/ Chor Sokunthea












The price of rubber has fallen markedly in recent months due to a slowdown in demand in international markets, particularly China.


The commodity currently fetches $1,300 per tonne in the local market, a drop of more than $100 compared to last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

This is bad news for investors in the Cambodian rubber sector, said Lim Heng, vice president of An Mady Group, a company that owns a rubber plantation and exports the product.

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“At the current price, investors in the sector cannot survive. The cost of production is higher than that price at which the product is being traded,” he said, adding, however, that for small farmers the current price may be sustainable.

Mr Heng said that Vietnam, the biggest market for Cambodian rubber, saw a sharp decline in exports to China due to changing Chinese policies and fears over the US-China trade war. He said this affects Cambodia, as a good portion of the Kingdom’s rubber production is sent to China in indirect shipments that pass through Vietnam.

Given these price woes, the private sector is demanding lower taxes on rubber exports.

“Through the Ministry of Agriculture, the private sector has asked the government to tax rubber exports only for shipments that exceed $2,000 per tonne. However, there has been no response from the government yet,” Mr Heng said.

Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that Cambodia exported 63,453 tonnes of rubber in the first four months of the year, an increase of 23 percent.

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Prime Minister Hun Sen last week called on farmers and investors to keep rubber plantation amid the fall in prices.

“The price of rubber is declining, but I would like to ask farmers to now follow what seems to be the trend. Some farmers are cutting down their rubber trees and replacing them with cashew trees. When the price of cashew nuts decline, they will be forced to cut down these trees and find a new crop, incurring a large cost in labour,” Mr Hun Sen said.

An Mady’s Mr Heng said the price of rubber will remain stable until next year. “At the current price, existing rubber investors may be able to stay in business, but attracting new investors will be difficult.

“Without a new policy that gives more incentives, investors won’t dare come in. They will sit and wait until conditions improve.”


Rubber export curb won’t significantly prop up price

KUALA LUMPUR (June 18):  Corporation Bhd believes the rubber export curbs by the world’s top producers, beginning April this year, would not significantly push up the commodity’s price.

Founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said this is because the natural rubber latex price has reached a reasonable price of about RM5 per kg currently, a jump of more than 40% from the RM3.50 per kg recorded at end-2018.

He said the curb to prop up the price would only be effective if  are low, as other rubber-producing countries such as , Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and would take advantage of the current good price to increase their supply and exports.

It was reported that the world’s top producers — Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia — have agreed to cut natural rubber exports by 240,000 tonnes from April to  this year, aimed at boosting the commodity’s price.

Meanwhile, asked if demand for vinyl gloves is expected to decline due to oversupply from China amid the trade war with the US, Lim concurred, saying China accounts for more than 50% of the world’s exports of vinyl gloves.

To mitigate the impact on the company, Lim said Top Glove had expanded its vinyl glove production to Vietnam, where the cost of production would be much lower, and it also could enjoy a tax advantage of exporting from Vietnam to the US and Europe.


Rubber exports plummet

Update: June, 18/2019 - 07:37