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RUBBER NEWS INT'L: Malaysia: Exports of natural rubber, rubber-based products jump 30%
(Last Updated: 09 Feb 2018)

 

 

 

Malaysia: Exports of natural rubber, rubber-based products jump 30%

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 KUALA LUMPUR: The natural  and -based products were the ‘stars’ in 2017, with export up 30.2% to RM32.3bil, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

He said the other commodities, such as palm , also performed reasonable well, increasing by 14.6 % to RM77.8 bil.

“The palm oil export has surpassed our initial target of RM70 bil last year and for 2018, we are confident of achieving over RM80 bil,” he told Bernama.

The total export earnings of commodity products amounted to RM140.3bil, or 15% of Malaysia’s total merchandise export, 14.4% higher than RM122.6 bil in 2016.

 

image: https://content.aimatch.com/default.gif

image: https://content.thestar.com.my/smg/settag/name=lotame/tags=

Mah said although the palm oil and palm-based products recorded a positive number, only 10% of the trees has been utilised.

“We are going into more value-added products, including the oleochemical products and pharmaceuticals, with the aim to increase the palm oil consumption.

“The commodity has got big future in the country and we are seriously looking into it,” he said, adding that currently there were companies that were ready to exploit the biomass industry in Malaysia.

In his commentary in one of the local newspapers last month, Mah said the fronds, trunks, empty fruit bunches and palm kernel shell were biomass from palm oil output that most Malaysians were unfamiliar with.

Hence, many were also unaware of the vast opportunities to turn palm biomass into wealth, he said.

The ministry welcomed industrial players who would put big money into research and development in the field, he said.

Yesterday, the minister received a visit from British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell, where both discussed the proposed European Union () Parliament’s move to remove palm oil from biofuels mix by 2021.

They also talked about the future cooperation between Malaysia and the UK, especially in exploring the development of palm oil-based high value-added downstream products to create new economic opportunities.

Mah is scheduled to lead a Malaysian delegation to  for the Malaysia-EU Palm Oil Consultation starting Saturday.

The mission aims to negotiate with members of the tripartite consultation from influential countries to seek their support and state Malaysia’s firm stand against the injustice done to the palm industry.

Besides several EU commissioners and policymakers, the delegation will also meet government representatives of Germany, UK, , Spain, , and Poland.

— Bernama

 

Thailand asks farmers to cut down rubber trees to boost prices

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 Rare measure targets 64,000 hectares to reduce supply by 5% in first quarter

APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writer

Thailand asks farmers to cut down rubber trees to boost prices

 tree farmer at his plantation in Thailand\’s southern Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. The current price of  has fallen well below the record high of $6.00 a kilogram in 2011. © Reuters

  

BANGKOK — Thailand, the world\’s largest rubber producer and exporter, has launched a program to encourage farmers to cut down  earlier than the 25-year life cycle to reduce total annual output by 5% by the end of April, in a bid to support falling rubber prices.

To reach the target, the Thai government has earmarked 80 billion baht ($2.5 billion) to compensate those who participate in the program, which is not mandatory.

Thailand has previously used similar “cut-down” measures in coordination with and Malaysia, the second- and third-biggest rubber producers in the world, respectively, but the policies were backed up only by verbal interventions, rather than specific action, and failed to have a major impact on prices.

In the latest move, introduced last month, Bangkok has decided to implement the program on its own, targeting an area of 400,000 rai, or 64,000 hectares — much larger in scale compared with the past attempts jointly conducted by the three countries.

Narongsak Jaisamut, director of the Rubber Authority of Thailand\’s Production Development Department told the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday that the government will offer farmers 4,000 baht per rai (or 0.16 hectare) to rev up the plan to cut down rubber trees.

“We target to cut as much as 50% of 400,000 rai a year by the first quarter of this year. That would help cut supply by 5% and should help support price,” Narongsak said.

An excessive supply of rubber at a time when global consumption has been weak has dragged down the price of benchmark export grade rubber sheet to around $1.70 a kilogram on Wednesday.

That price is well below the record high of $6.00 a kilogram in 2011, and  has forced farmers to demand government support.

The government also plans to spend an additional 3 billion baht to pay farmers to cut down rubbers trees covering an additional 300,000 rai, or 48,000 hectares, by the end of this year. However, that plan has yet to be approved by the Thai cabinet, according to an official at the Rubber Authority of Thailand.

Narongsak said the additional measure is expected to cut rubber supply by 20% this year and help support prices.

Thailand is forecast this year to have an area of 20.2 million rai, or 3.232 million hectares, of rubber plantations, which could produce 4.9 million tons of rubber. That is up from 19.2 million rai and 4.5 million tons of  in 2017, according to data from Thailand\’s Agriculture Ministry.

Apart from the measure to cut down rubber trees, the government is promoting their use in other ways in order to help create added value. In the past, the government encouraged farmers to grow rubber trees specifically for the rubber latex.

The Rubber Authority of Thailand has encouraged private companies, particularly from Japan, where the government is promoting biomass power plants, to import pellets to be used as raw material for these plants. A Japanese power plant operator, Idemitsu Kosan, recently approached the Rubber Authority of Thailand to import rubber pellets.

Thailand is forecast to produce around 8 million tons of rubber pellets a year from the proposed plan to axe rubber trees nationwide, and from another government plan to secure demand for rubber pellets by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, or EGAT.

According to the memorandum of understanding, EGAT plans to build biomass power plants across the country, with an expected combined power generating capacity of 600 megawatts by 2020.

“Each biomass power plant has a power generating capacity of around 10 megawatts, and EGAT planned to start building the first biomass power plant in [Thailand\’s northeast] Bueng Kan province,” Narongsak said.

  • nikkei.com

 

Ivory Coast 2017 rubber exports up 31 pct

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ABIDJAN, Jan 30 (Reuters) –  exported 701,034 tonnes of  in 2017, up more than 31 percent from the previous year, provisional port data showed on Tuesday.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is also the leading producer of natural in . Exports have risen in recent years as farmers, lured by the promise of a more stable income, are increasingly switching away from volatile cocoa.

The following are port export figures in tonnes:

Dec 2017 Nov 2017 Dec 2016 Abidjan 61,119 48,350 39,476  23,937 24,135 22,533 Total 85,056 72,485 62,009 Cumulative from Jan 701,034 615,978 533,913

 

Cambodia: Rubber exports jump as smugglers siphon off profits

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The total amount of  exported by  surged 30 percent last year, but widespread  smuggling on the Vietnamese border crippled potential profits from the booming industry.

A worker collects coagulated latex at a rubber plantation in Kampong Cham’s Memot district in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Cambodia generated about $300 million in revenue by exporting nearly 189,000 tons of rubber last year, according to Pol Sopha, general director of the rubber department at the Ministry of Agriculture. The revenue boost was also helped by a 24 percent increase in the average price per ton, which was up to $1,586 last year, compared to $1,283 in 2016.

 

But while small-scale rubber farmers were able to sell their crops for a profit, the industry as a whole was crippled by massive smuggling operations that shipped much of the country’s rubber into  tax-free, according to Sopha.

“Now the price satisfies the family rubber farmers, but  doesn’t give a profit to the ,” he said yesterday. “We are trying to crack down on rubber smugglers…but they use the small gates at the border, which is difficult to control.”

Men Sopheak, vice president of rubber plantation operator Sopheak Nika Investment Group, blamed the smugglers for some recent closures and lack of profits for the bigger Cambodian rubber exporters.

“Most of the local exporters have been forced to shut down, since they could not compete with the rubber brokers who smuggle to the border without paying tax,” he said yesterday.

But those brokers were a boon for smaller rubber operations, often times paying farmers near the border a high price for their crops, according to Thy Sambo, president of the Tbong Khmum Family Rubber Association, which has 92 small-scale rubber farmers as members.

“From what we sold last year, we can say that it is fair enough for  if the price stays the same this year,” he said, adding that being close to the Vietnamese border meant higher prices from the rubber brokers. “We are not worried about our living.”

– phnompenhpost.com

 

 

Vietnam Natural export volume increased notably in November 2017

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  export volume increased notably in November 2017

According to the data newly released by Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s NR export volume in November 2017 increased greatly. The NR export volume in Vietnam had been above 110kt for 6 consecutive months of 2017, and the export volume hit a new high of the past 10 years in August 2017.

Vietnam Natural export volume increased notably in November 2017

According to the data newly released by Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s NR export volume in November 2017 was 145.3kt, up 24.66% M-O-M and up 13.74% Y-O-Y. The accumulative NR export volume in the first 11 months of 2017 was 1,211kt, up 7.17% from the same period of 2016. In October 2017, the NR output was impacted by the rainy weather. After that, the NR output was stable in November and December 2017, but the overall increasing volume was not high.

 

According to ANPRC’s statistics, Vietnam’s NR output in the first 11 months of 2017 totaled 970kt, up 2.17% Y-O-Y. As Vietnam’s NR output could not meet the export demand, Vietnam greatly increased its NR import volume in 2017. According to SCI’s statistics, Vietnam’s  (including  ) import volume in the first 11 months of 2017 was 498.5kt, and the volume in 2016 was only 435.1kt. The processing technology of synthetic  was underdeveloped in Vietnam, so the synthetic  basically relied on import. The annual demand volume of synthetic  was basically stable in Vietnam. In order to meet the NR export demand, Vietnam greatly increased the NR import volume from  and Indonesia.

Vietnam Natural export volume increased notably in November 2017

In November 2017, Vietnam’s NR export volume to China was 105.2kt, taking up 72.4% of the total NR export volume in November. China had a larger proportion in Vietnam’s NR export structure. From January to November 2017, Vietnam exported 788.3kt of NR to China.

In the past years, Vietnam’s NR export volume to China occupied above 50% of its total export volume. With China’s NR import volume increase in 2017, Vietnam’s NR export volume to China would take up a higher proportion. China’s NR import demand also supported Vietnam’s NR export.

In December 2017, the weather in Southeast Asia was good. With the higher profits, rubber farmers were active in rubber tapping. The rubber feedstock processing plants in Vietnam could also purchase rubber feedstock from the neighbor countries. SCI predicts that Vietnam’s NR export volume in December 2017 is likely to be 130kt-160kt.

Source: http://intl.sci99.com/n/4/540335.html

 

 

Natural Rubber producers begin three months of export cuts

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  BANGKOK—The governments of Thailand, Malaysia and , members of the International Tripartite Council, have started a cut in exports of natural .

In a Dec. 22 statement, \’s operational arm the  said the trio would cut  exports by 350,000 metric tons between Dec. 22 and March 31.

 

Dubbed the “Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme,” the plan will be implemented through each country\’s respective domestic regulators. The plan addresses business commitments under existing forward contracts, and its measures include using NR in various sectors such as transport, consumer goods and rubberized roads.

The AETS move follows through on a decision to curb exports, which was agreed to following an ITRC meeting in Bangkok on Nov. 29. According to the  report, the meeting examined cooperation among the three countries to increase NR consumption domestically.

The three countries have voiced their confidence that the new steps will help prices recover.

 

 

Thailand: More state aid for rubber approved

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 The government on Friday approved state measures to tackle low , including a new loan package worth 20 billion baht for entrepreneurs who agree to purchase and stockpile .

Thailand: More state aid for rubber approved

According to Grisada Boonrach, the agriculture and cooperatives minister, the measures were endorsed yesterday by the  Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Under the new loan package, the government will subsidise a 3% interest rate for loans taken out by entrepreneurs who agree to purchase rubber and keep in their .

 

The government expects to use about 600 million baht on interest rate subsidies.

Mr Grisada said the loan package will prompt entrepreneurs to buy 100,000 tonnes of dry , representing 80% of the dried  now in the market.

According to Mr Grisada, the committee also approved state agencies buying more natural rubber to use for construction of roads and sports fields.

He said many state agencies still have budget left for building roads and sport fields, so they will be asked to buy more latex from farmers to be used for construction.

The government expected state enterprises to buy a total 180,000 tonnes of latex from farmers, rising from 70,000-80,000 tonnes a year in an earlier plan. Combined spending is estimated at 12.7 billion baht.

Gen Prayut earlier instructed nine state agencies to speed up the use of rubber in a bid to lift domestic demand and shore up falling rubber prices.

The nine organisations are the Agriculture Ministry, Defence Ministry, Transport Ministry, Education Ministry, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Public Health Ministry, Interior Ministry, Tourism and Sports Ministry and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Gen Prayut told the agencies to get their budget out before the fiscal year was over because he wanted the agencies\’ plans for rubber use to begin immediately and be completed by the end of fiscal 2018.

The plans were devised to help relieve the rubber glut, which is partly to blame for free-falling rubber prices.

  • Bangkokpost.com

 

Cambodia: EU firm sets plan for local rubber factory

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Socfin Cambodia, the local branch of a -based international rubber producing company that currently operates a 7,500-hectare rubber plantation in Mondulkiri, has announced plans to open the doors to its first  next , with an initial investment of $5.7 million, a company executive said last week.

Latex collects in a dish at a rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province last year.

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