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RUBBER NEWS INT'L: Cambodia: Rubber exports increase in 2020
(Last Updated: 21 Dec 2020)




Cambodia: Rubber exports increase in 2020

A senior official from the General Directorate of  at the Ministry of Agriculture, has said that Cambodia’s rubber exports are expected to reach 340,000 tonnes by end of the year.

General Directorate of Rubber director-general, Pol Sopha, noted that this was an increase over the 280,000 tonnes exported in 2019 and that the  rate of rubber exports is expected to increase through 2024.  Sopha also said it is anticipated that yearly export increases will be in the range of 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes per year because some  are approaching being incapable of generating latex. They will need to be cut them down and  that land replanted. Sopha added that it takes six years for newly planted rubber trees to mature to the point of providing a harvest.

“[Currently] more than 410,000 hectares of rubber trees [in the nation] are under cultivation [and of this] around 290,000 hectares of rubber trees are capable of being tapped for latex,” he said.

The Director-General went on to say that Cambodia sent around 60 percent of its rubber production to , with most of that remaining exported to , Malaysia, Singapore, and Europe.

“Most of our rubber exports are in processed rubber, but latex also crosses the border corridor from farmers in those regions,”  he noted.

Association for Rubber Development of Cambodia (ARDC) president, Men Sopheak, said that the price of rubber in Cambodia is now promising.  He added that local companies can sell it for up to $1,700 per tonne, with the majority of them exporting their rubber to Vietnam.

When asked whether  were looking at opportunities to produce finished  in Cambodia, Sopheak said that many had showed interest in setting up factories, but rubber production in Cambodia is small compared with in Vietnam and  where there between two to three million hectares of rubber plantation exist. He said Cambodia’s half million hectares of plantations make it difficult to justify the  in processing factories.

“Recently, some rubber plantations were completely logged out and replanted to other purposes because of falling rubber prices and there is a lack of available labour in the industry. These factors present also challenges to investors,” Sopheak added.

Cambodia exports 242,922 tons of rubber in 10 months, up 21 pct

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-29 20:28:53|Editor: huaxia

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia exported 242,922 tons of dry rubber in the first 10 months of 2020, up 21 percent over the same period last year, said a General Directorate of Rubber report on Sunday.

The kingdom made gross revenue of 318 million U.S. dollars from exports of the commodity during the January-October period this year, up 19.6 percent over the same period last year, the report said.

"A ton of dry rubber averagely cost 1,311 U.S. dollars during the first 10 months of this year, about 19 dollars lower than that of the same period last year," Pol Sopha, director general of the General Directorate of Rubber, said in the report.

The Southeast Asian nation exports the commodity mainly to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and China.

According to the report, to date, Cambodia has planted rubber trees on a total area of 401,914 hectares, in which the trees on 290,013 hectares, or 72 percent, have grown big enough to be tapped. Enditem



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Glove demand creates path for rubber farmers

Dr Boon Vanasin, owner and chairman of Thonburi Healthcare Group, is embarking on a new business journey by mixing healthcare and agricultural businesses together.

He believes the move will be an important step as consumer behaviours change in the wake of the global pandemic.

The outbreak not only awakened people to protection against infections, but it also led businesses to consider healthcare in their offerings.

Dr Boon decided to start a new business as demand for medical products is growing. He joined hands with the rubber plantation fund cooperative under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to set up Thai Medical Gloves to produce rubber gloves for medical personnel.


The gloves are not only necessary equipment for doctors and nurses, but they are an important avenue in helping improve the living standard of Thai farmers, who can earn more revenue from selling rubber latex to glove manufacturers.

Dr Boon said the cooperation is aimed at helping rural economies as it is expected to bolster rubber prices and ensure sustainable growth of rubber businesses in the long term.

Rubber prices have fallen since 2017, due largely to oversupply from rubber-producing countries. The sluggish economy later cut demand from the auto industry, further impacting rubber producers.

The situation compelled the Rubber Authority of Thailand to take up ownership of 30% of shares in Thai Medical Gloves, which is chaired by Dr Boon.

Dr Boon expects other rubber cooperatives may follow suit in the future.

Usually Thailand exports rubber latex to neighbouring countries, especially Malaysia, as commodity products, but agricultural officials want to develop them into value-added products and standard medical gloves can be one of them.

“This cooperation is like the social enterprise business as it also supports Thai rubber farmers,” said Dr Boon.

Thai Medical Gloves is in talks with four companies from China that have shown interest in expanding their businesses here.

“In the long term,” said Dr Boon, “if the glove business grows steadily, I may have Thonburi Healthcare Group be part of the venture.”


The pandemic is driving demand for gloves in the healthcare industry worldwide and, from an entrepreneurship angle, this is the right time for Thai Medical Gloves to be a key player selling gloves in this bustling atmosphere.

The company decided to spend 18 billion baht acquiring land and building glove production plants, following a six-month discussion on the new cooperation between Dr Boon and agricultural officials.

They plan to operate a total of four plants located on Bang Na-Trat Road, Bang Phra area in Chon Buri and Rayong’s Pluak Daeng district.

“The four plants will have a combined capacity of 600 million boxes of gloves a year,” said Dr Boon, adding one box contains 100 gloves.

“We aim to export to the US, European countries, India and Brazil.”

These regions are hotbeds for the highly contagious virus.

Dr Boon expects two manufacturing plants will be ready to launch the first lots of gloves in February 2021, according to a production time line. They will produce 80 million boxes per year.

Another two have to await installation of imported machinery.

The development is viewed an initiative to allow businesses arising from the outbreak.

“The pandemic is changing many businesses. If we don’t adjust ourselves, businesses may come to an end,” said Dr Boon.

The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association estimated global demand for rubber gloves will reach 300 billion pieces this year, with annual growth of 12%.

Malaysia, the world’s largest rubber glove producer, contributes nearly 63% of global supply. It has revised its estimated supply to 220 billion pieces in 2020 amid current scenario, which is much higher than previously estimated numbers of 188 billion pieces.

Thailand, Dr Boon said, should increase its global market share of rubber gloves because the country has plenty of rubber latex supplied by rubber plantations, especially from the South.

Thailand holds 13-14% of the global rubber glove market.

The country has the capacity to produce around 10 million tonnes of rubber latex a year. Rubber is supplied as a raw material in many industries, including automotive-related industry and medical businesses.

The rubber glove industry in Thailand is expected to use around 3 million tonnes of latex a year.

“Thailand exports over 80% of this amount to Malaysia and China,” said Dr Boon.


The establishment of Thai Medical Gloves has lead Dr Boon to come up with an idea to branch out further into the engineering aspect of the medical glove business.

In the future, he plans to supply glove-making machinery to glove factories in Thailand and overseas markets.

“I want to diversify the business into an upstream industry and the glove machinery business is in place,” said Dr Boon.

“The production technology is an important factor for other businesses.”




Malaysia's glove industry is booming amid COVID-19, but are rubber smallholders seeing the benefits?

VT Rubber 02
Ab Manap Minhat uses a reverse blade method to tap his few acres of rubber trees, from which he manages to garner a few hundred ringgit a month. (Photo: Vincent Tan)





MELAKA: The clock shows 7.30am, and daylight has just broken over the trees and small rise around Ab Manap Minhat’s house. The 65-year-old steps out of his home, clad in a thick, long-sleeved shirt with long pants tucked into his boots.

He starts up his motorcycle and heads out to start tapping the trees on the 6 acres of rubber plantation that he and his wife own in Bukit Katil, Melaka.  

Further down the road in the same kampung, Faridah Wahab has stepped out earlier at 7am to start tapping her rubber smallholding, which measures just over 2 acres of land.


VT Rubber 03
Mdm Faridah (pictured) taps on land belonging to her and her children, which amounts to just over two acres. From this, she might earn less than RM100 after selling about two weeks' work of accumulated cup lump latex. (Photo: Vincent Tan)


Strapping a mosquito coil holder around her waist, over a thick secondhand shirt like Manap's, she starts tapping the plantation surrounding her compound in the kampung. 

While many livelihoods have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been a bumper year for rubber glove manufacturers in Malaysia, as the fight to contain the disease led to a surge in demand for latex surgical gloves and other latex medical products.


For tycoons such as Stanley Thai and Lim Kuang Sia, the founders of glove manufacturers Supermax Berhad and Kossan Rubber Industries respectively, they have reportedly been elevated to billionaire status after their stocks took off due to global demand. 

The stock value reportedly tripled for the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer, Top Glove Berhad. Founder Lim Wee Chai’s net worth is said to have jumped to RM2.5 billion (US$599 million).


READ: Malaysia’s largest rubber glove manufacturer bullish about prospects as demand soars amid COVID-19


Lim Wee Chai glove Malaysia
Malaysian firm Top Glove founder Lim Wee Chai tells CNA that 2020 is going to be a record year for the company.


According to numbers compiled by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), export of rubber gloves rose steadily, from just RM1.7 billion in March this year, to RM3.17 billion in July. 

However, for the lives of people such as Faridah and Manap, there appears to have been little trickle-down effect in terms of income. 

There are various reasons for their predicament. Notably, many smallholders produ