CAMBODIA'S Rubber Plantation General Department said on Thursday that Cambodian rubber prices have increased 12.8 percent since January.
Ly Phalla, director general of the department, told the Post that rubber prices had risen to US$1,600 per tonne compared to $1,419 per tonne at the beginning of the year, adding that prices were still 33 percent lower compared with the same period last year.
In May 2008, a tonne of rubber was $2,400, he said.
"We expect that rubber prices will be strong this year, ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 as China - which has a big automobile industry - needs a lot of rubber," said Ly Phalla.
Rubber-export figures for the first four months of this year are not yet available.
Late last month the rubber industry in Cambodia warned that this year rubber cultivation growth would slow by about 60 percent year-on-year due to depressed prices.
Ly Phalla predicted at the time that cultivation would increase by about 10,000 hectares in 2009, compared with 25,900 hectares growth the previous year.