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RUBBER NEWS INT'L: Thailand takes hatchet to rubber trees in plan to cut output 30%
(Last Updated: 12 Jan 2019)



Thailand takes hatchet to rubber trees in plan to cut output 30%


BANGKOK • , the world’s largest rubber exporter, plans to cut production by a third over the next five years in an attempt to lift prices that are hovering near their lowest level since 2016.

Thailand takes hatchet to rubber trees in plan to cut output 30%

The country will fell old trees and replace them with other crops to tackle oversupply, said Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach.

The goal is to reduce output to three million metric tonnes from 4.5 million now and the area to 2.4 million hectares (ha) from 4.2 million ha, he said in an interview in Bangkok on Tuesday.

The world’s rubber growers are struggling with prices that have fallen more than 50% in the past eight years as supply surges after a bout of replanting. Weakening global growth and a collapse in the price of oil, from which a synthetic alternative is made, also threaten demand.

Thailand,  and Malaysia meet later this month to decide measures to support prices, but previous efforts to curb exports have failed to stem the decline.

The authorities plan to chop down annually more than 300,000ha of trees that are about 25 years old until the target is reached, said Grisada.

The plan, which is in line with proposals from the Rubber Authority of Thailand, will take output back to levels seen earlier this decade.

The country has also been promoting more local consumption as a short-term measure to boost prices.

Using rubber for glove- making isn’t taking out enough volume, so building roads with the material is now the main project. Almost 90% of production is currently destined for the export market.

The “One Village, One Kilometre” programme encourages over 75,000 small villages across the country to replace gravel roads with rubber ones.

Grisada said the rubber surface is more durable and better withstands severe weather.

There are 12 pilot projects, and the ministry will brief representatives from every province on the construction of rubber roads on Jan 11.

The project is expected to use more than a million tonnes of rubber, about a quarter of the country’s annual output. — Bloomber


Rubber latex processing plant inaugurated in Son La

12/26/2018 16:39
At the inaugural ceremony (Photo VNA)

Son La (VNA) – 
The Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) held a ceremony to inaugurate its rubber latex processing plant in Thuan Chau district in the northern mountainous province of Son La on December 26.

The construction of the plant started in early 2018 with total investment of nearly 110 billion VND (4.7 million USD).

Covering nearly 16 hectares in Thuan Chau’s Tong Lenh commune, the plant is designed to have a processing capacity of 9,000 tonnes of rubber latex per year.

The project was divided into two phases with the first one with annual capacity of 6,000 tonnes. The second phase is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2020 with capacity of 3,000 tonnes per annum.

According to Director of the Son La Rubber Joint Stock Company Ho Anh Duc, when the factory is put into operation, it will increase the value of rubber latex four times from about 10 million VND (429 USD) per tonne to 40 million VND (1,717 USD) per tonne.

It also helps generate jobs for over 200 workers, he added.

At present, Son La has over 6,000 hectares of rubber, including over 2,300 hectares for harvesting. In 2018, the province’s rubber latex output was estimated at over 5,000 tonnes. 

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cam Ngoc Minh said the development of rubber trees will help increase the forest coverage, minimise flash floods, and reduce poverty.

He asked the Son La Rubber Joint Stock Company to quickly complete the waste treatment project and closely work with local authorities and farmers to ensure effective business and environmental protection.

The plant will be operated 10 months in a year. This is the first latex processing plant in the northwestern region after more than 10 years of developing rubber trees.-VNA

Philippines: Upgrade needed to make rubber sector competitive


The country needs to upgrade its current rubber operations to make these competitive in the  global value chain (GVC), a policy brief released by the Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research said.

The report, citing an earlier study, said stakeholders in the global value chain can capture higher value by adopting new technologies, creating new products, and engaging in new activities.

The policy brief also cited the need to encourage farmers to use modern agricultural techniques– higher quality planting materials and fertilizers, improved irrigation, and pruning techniques.

“Increased production in the short-to-medium term could help support economies of scale for processors and encourage them to undertake process improvements,”  said.


It added there is also a need to improve processing operations for better quality of rubber and boost commodity prices, and diversify products in final product manufacturing using imported natural and  rubber supply. This will enable the country to “potentially take advantage of the relatively strong export in final  in the transport sector and the emerging producers in the healthcare sector,” the report added.

It explained, “This opportunity, combined with the PEZA (Philippine  Zone Authority) and the BOI’s (Board of Investments) fiscal incentives, as well as the availability of manufacturing personnel, can help stimulate the rubber manufacturing operations in the country.”

“This could also help encourage the demand for local production and processing of natural rubber in the long run,” it added.


Rubber businesses to benefit from ANRPC membership

Myanmar rubber businesses will benefit from more growth opportunities if the country joins the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), said U Hla Kyaw, deputy minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI).

“The rubber industry will enjoy better development of technology, access to rubber species, better market penetration and more job opportunities if Myanmar joins the ANRPC,” U Hla Kyaw said.



The ANRPC has also advised and urged MOALI to join their association. The yearly membership fee to join the association is US$5,000, with an initial payment of $1,666 required for the four months between September and December.


“It will be an opportunity for Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers’ Association to be able to carry out activities more closely with the international rubber associations,” said U Hla Kyaw.


Bago Region, Tanintharyi Region, Mon State and Kayin State are the main rubber producing areas in Myanmar and among them, Mon State used to produce about 100,000 tonnes of rubber every year. However, yields have been falling recently, said Amyotha Hluttaw MP Dr Win Myint from Bago Region.

“It has been almost 3-4 years that Mon State has only been able to produce 60,000 tonnes of rubber due to slowdown in production and falling prices,” he said.


Due to decline in prices, workers’ wages have also decreased and because of it, more workers have been going overseas to work, said Dr Win Myint.

“In some rubber plantations, there are almost no workers. Of about 500,000 rubber trees in Mon State, only 300,000 can exude latex while others are being chopped down and sold for wood,” he said.

At a recent parliament session, all MPs agreed to Myanmar joining the ANRPC.



Top rubber producers to meet amid low prices – Indonesian official


JAKARTA, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Top rubber producers , Malaysia and  will meet on Dec. 16 to discuss ways to prop up distressed prices, including potentially curbing exports, a senior Indonesian trade official said on Wednesday.

Representatives from the three countries which comprise the International Tripartite Rubber Council () will meet in Putrajaya, Malaysia, according to Iman Pambagyo, Director General of International Trade Negotiation at Indonesia’s Trade Ministry.

“We will focus on discussing issues that has kept prices of  low,” he told reporters.

ITRC will be looking at two possible measures to boost prices including reducing exports and tree replanting which “will automatically reduce supply,” Pambagyo said.


Benchmark rubber futures on the  hit a 27-month low last month on concerns over global oversupply.

“The issue is how all the members will comply with this,” Pambagyo said. “The Indonesian Trade Minister has strongly conveyed this in the previous meeting, we have to maintain discipline.”

The Indonesian government said last month  will launch a rubber replanting program this month, with the pilot project covering up to 6,000 hectares of land in Sumatra. The government aims to replant 700,000 hectares of rubber farms by 2025.

The group has also invited Vietnam to join the discussions given the country’s rising supply to the global rubber market, Pambagyo said.

ITRC will also consider using more rubber in roads and high-rise construction projects to absorb excess supply, he added.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo last week ordered the country’s Public Work and Housing Ministry to  directly from farmers to lift local prices. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe Writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Manolo Serapio Jr.)


Malaysia exports RM9b worth SMR rubber every year

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