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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 2011 rubber prices surge 132 per cent on demand

2011 rubber prices surge 132 per cent on demand

Cambodia's 2011 rubber exports and export prices grew by 55 per cent and 131 per cent respectively, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce obtained by the Post.

The data shows rubber exports last year totalled 46,727 tonnes, compared to 30,040 tonnes in 2010. Export prices also rose to $200.9 million from US$86.76 million in 2010.

Last year’s surge was primarily due to rising foreign demand and larger production hauls, Ly Phalla, general director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ rubber department, said last week.

This rapid increase was not expec-ted to become a trend, he said.

“The world’s demand for rubber in 2012 is predicted to exceed that in 2011 by only 5.5 per cent due to a recovering Cambodian economy and slowed production in other fields,” Ly Phalla said.

Exports will continue to grow, he said, albeit at a slower pace.

Mak Kim Hong, president of the Cambodian Rubber Association and the owner of Kampong Cham’s Chub Rubber plantation, said his comp-any’s rubber exports reached about 12,000 tonnes, exceeding 2010’s yield by around 1,000 tonnes.

“There are now more rubber trees being planted to add to the benefits,” Mak Kim Hong said.

According to Ly Phalla, rubber-tree plantations in 2010 covered 181,450 hectares, increasing by 21 hectares in 2011. By 2020, there would be at least 30 more hectares, he estimated.

Ly Phalla said one tonne of rubber currently fetched about $3,300 on the market. Rubber prices had increased for the first nine months of 2011, he added.

The Cambodian government is drafting policies concerning the production and processing of rubber, as well as developing plans to increase rubber exports.

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