Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China demand stretches rubber prices

China demand stretches rubber prices

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kingdom exported a total of 83,620 tonnes of natural rubber latex in January-February, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.3 per cent from 75,809 tonnes. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

China demand stretches rubber prices

The prices of Cambodian natural rubber latex on international markets have risen by more than 10 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, driven by rising demand from China, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

General Directorate of Rubber head Pol Sopha told The Post on March 16 that China’s “improved economic growth” had boosted demand for rubber in the East Asian country.

This has fuelled shipments of Cambodian rubber to the Port of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where the selling price of the commodity stands at $1,800, up from about $1,500 in March last year, he said, adding that prices had been on an upswing since the end of 2020.

“The rise in rubber prices now is due to surging demand in China, but also in some parts of India,” he said, adding that chronic labour shortages in regional rubber-growing areas have also played a part in the accelerated prices and exports of Cambodian rubber.

“If prices remain this buoyant, rubber plantations in Cambodia could increase even further,” Sopha said.

As of the end of last month, rubber plantations in Cambodia covered a total of 404,118ha, according to the ministry. Of this, 292,497ha (72.38 per cent) are tapped for latex, while 111,621ha (27.62 per cent) are “under maintenance”, or in their immature phase yet to deliver a first harvest.

Men Sopheak, director of rubber grower-cum-exporter Sopheak Nika Investment Agro-Industrial Plants Co Ltd, said Cambodian rubber now sells for more than $1,700 per tonne at the Vietnamese border, whereas it netted about $1,400 around the same time last year.

“The price of rubber has risen due to strong demand in China, though other markets do not seem to be showing any positive signs,” he said, adding that the high percentage of untapped area also helped propel prices higher.

The current booming Cambodian rubber prices could see a slight reduction in the next two-to-three months as harvest seasons pick up in each country, he cautioned, admitting that his company has yet to export the commodity this year.

And a handful of businesses have signalled their eagerness to capitalise on the lucrative and as-yet untapped Cambodian rubber industry.

The Post reported last week that Chinese-based company Sailun Group Co Ltd is considering setting up a passenger-car tyre factory in the QiLu (Cambodia) Special Economic Zone in Svay Rieng province.

At the same time, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) last month approved Cart Tire Co Ltd’s $15 million tyre factory in QiLu Bavet Special Economic Zone in Svay Rieng’s Bavet town.

The ministry’s Sopha said that this is precisely what Cambodia has wanted for a long time.

Investment in tyre factories will virtually eliminate the export dependence of the Kingdom’s rubber sector, beefing up the cultivation capacity and market environment, he said. “And of course, we hope that these investment projects will use plenty of local raw materials.”

The Kingdom exported a total of 83,620 tonnes of natural rubber latex in January-February, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.3 per cent from 75,809 tonnes, the ministry reported.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a