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August 23, 2019

Rubber production to decline next year due to the low price of rubber this year

Workers rolling rubber into sheets of raw rubber to dry in the sun. Photo: Khon (Win Pa)
Workers rolling rubber into sheets of raw rubber to dry in the sun. Photo: Khon (Win Pa)

Rubber production is expected to decline next year because of an unexpected rubber market this year. The manageable-scale rubber farm owners near Thuwannawaddy town, Thaton Township, Mon State have expressed a lack of interest in rubber cultivation because the price of rubber has declined in the market this year, compared with last year.
“We don’t want to cultivate rubber again. We can hire only two workers for 10 acres of rubber farming. There is a scarcity of rubber-tapping workers. Therefore, we have to pay them higher salaries. At the same time, the price of rubber has declined, while the rubber latex production has also declined. Also, we can produce only lower-quality rubber even when we use fertilizers. Our rubber farming has shut down now because of the rains. We will be at a loss if the price of rubber declines again next year,” said a local rubber farm owner.
The price of rubber was Ks755 per pound as of May. Now, the price of rubber has declined to Ks720 per pound. The price of rubber is unstable everyday. Last year this time, the price of rubber was Ks840 per pound, said a local rubber trader from Thein Seik ward from Thaton Township.
Last year, the authorities discussed the construction of rubber refinery factories to produce high quality rubber, to provide technical assistance and loans to rubber cultivators and to set up a stable rubber price in Mon State. However, the authorities could not implement the projects until now and the manageable-scale cultivators are facing difficulties in continuing with their rubber plantations. The rubber plantation is the main plantation in Mon state. There are more than 150,000 acres of rubber plantation in Mon State.—Khon (Win Pa)

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