RUBBER prices in Cambodia have soared more than 44 percent in the past year, said a Rubber Department official.
Ly Phalla, director general of the department, told the Post Tuesday that the Standard Malaysian Rubber 20 variety was up to $2,435 per tonne at the end of last month from $1,686 per tonne a year earlier as global demand improved.
“There is high demand for rubber in the global vehicle industry, especially from China, while production [globally] has fallen,” he said, adding that the recent rise in crude oil prices on global markets has also pushed up rubber prices.
Rubber tends to track crude on world markets.
Prices have recovered spectacularly in the past five months, he said, following an average price of just $1,500 per tonne in the first half.
“Our rubber price has soared on the Chinese market due to high demand while other [producing] countries like Malaysia, Indonesia … were affected by storms and flooding which damaged production,” said Mak Kim Hong, owner of a 16,000-hectare rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province and president of the Cambodian Rubber Association.
He said he had exported 8,000 tonnes of rubber to China already this year, adding that the usual October slump in prices had not materialised this year.
The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) – which Cambodia joined in September – said that production among its 10 members fell 5.1 percent in the 12 months to September.
In 2008, ANRPC members produced over 9.13 million tonnes of natural rubber, but 2009 production is expected to be only 8.68 million tonnes.