Myanmar exported rubber worth US$6.3 million from 1 to 25 October in the current financial year, a sharp drop of $4 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
An improvement in Myanmar rubber exports will be directly related to the price offered, said U Khaing Myint, secretary of the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA).
Additionally, the volatile rubber price is related to global climate change and government subsidy will be required for growers in need, he said.
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 annually across the country. Seventy per cent of rubber produced in Myanmar goes to China. It is also shipped to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, South Korea, India, Japan, and other countries.
At present, Myanmar is exporting only rubber sheets owing to lack of machinery and technology. Export rubber varieties include synthetic rubber, ribbed smoked sheet RSS 1,3,5, Myanmar Standard Rubber MSR-20, Technically Specified Rubber TSR-20, and Crepe Rubber.
The MRPPA had sought special rubber zones in regions and states to produce value-added rubber and quality raw materials at the 15th regular meeting with private entrepreneurs led by Vice President U Myint Swe, which was held on 15 March.
About 150,000 tons of rubber was exported in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Myanmar shipped over 190,000 tons of rubber, with an estimated value of $250 million, to external markets in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, an increase of 41,000 tons which helped boost earnings by $60 million compared to the year-ago period, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce. – GNLM
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)