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Regional officials meet over rubber fall

Officials from Southeast Asia’s natural rubber-producing nations met in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for the 12th International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC).

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) joined ITRC core nations – Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia – for the event, which is being touted as a joint effort to stabilise the region’s natural rubber prices.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) announced on Monday that ITRC nations – Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – will consider reducing exports in an effort to strengthen natural rubber prices, and will “explore” opportunities with CLMV nations.

“This is aimed at strengthening cooperation among NR [natural rubber] producing countries in the region. ITRC and CLMV countries collectively account for 73 per cent of global NR production,” the MPIC announcement said.

Ly Phalla, director general of the Agriculture Ministry’s General Directorate of Rubber, attended yesterday’s meeting and said he was hopeful that some of the larger rubber producing nations would help to improve price concerns in the industry.

“Once those major rubber producing countries slow down their production, the price will be better,” Phalla told the Post.

Global rubber prices have declined dramatically since April 2011, from $2.65 per pound to less than 74 cents in October this year, according to data from the Singapore Commodity Exchange.



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