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December 16, 2019

Price a deciding factor for rubber production, export: producers’ body

Production of rubber latex sheets goes down as the temperature of the local weather increases. Photo: htut htut (ye)
Production of rubber latex sheets goes down as the temperature of the local weather increases. Photo: htut htut (ye)

Any improvement in Myanmar’s rubber exports will be directly linked to the price offered, as production is usually suspended if the rates are low, according to U Khaing Myint, the secretary of the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA).
“The improvement of rubber exports will rely on the price. For example, the owners of small farms cannot produce when the price drops as they cannot even cover the production cost. Thus, a price drop leads to a halt in production. If rubber is priced at K800-900 per pound, production will rise. However, if the price is below K800 per pound, there is no potential for the market,” said U Khaing Myint.
Additionally, the volatility in rubber prices is linked to global climate change, and subsidy from the government is required for growers in need, he added.
Rubber is primarily produced in Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi, Bago, and Yangon regions in Myanmar. There are over 1.6 million acres of rubber plantations in Myanmar, with Mon State accounting for about 500,000 acres, followed by Kayin State (270,000 acres), according to the MRPPA.
About 300,000 tons of rubber is produced every year in the country. Seventy per cent of Myanmar’s rubber production goes to China. Myanmar rubber is also shipped to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Korea, India, Japan, and other countries.
Myanmar has sent over 190,000 tons of rubber, with an estimated value of US$250 million, to external markets in the past eleven months of the current fiscal year. The export volume is up 41,000 tons, or $60 million, compared to the year-ago period, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
At present, Myanmar is exporting only rubber sheets owing to lack of machines and technology. Therefore, the MRPPA called for the establishment of special rubber zones in the regions and states to produce value-added rubber and quality raw materials at the 15th regular meeting with private entrepreneurs, led by Vice President 1, which was held on 15 March.
About 150,000 tons of rubber was exported in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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