CAMBODIA’S lack of exposure to European rubber markets has left the Kingdom’s rubber trade untouched by an economic crisis that threatened other industries such as garment manufacturing, Ministry of Commerce officials said yesterday.
Despite depressed market prices caused by the European crisis, Cambodian rubber exports to the international market have seen a 53 per cent year-on-year increase in the first 11 months of the year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Exports reached 40,583 tonnes worth US$181.77 million through November, compared to 26,460 tonnes worth US$73.89 during the same period in 2010.
Kong Putheara, director of the Commerce Ministry’s Department of Statistics and Information, said the increase of Cambodian rubber exports resulted from increased demand in markets outside of the euro zone – and simply because Cambodia had not yet exported rubber to Europe.
“The rubber we export is raw material for industrial products, not finished products. The markets to which we exported are China, Vietnam and Malaysia,” he said, adding that demand for rubber for car tyres, among other products, accounted for the rapid growth. Mak Kim Hong, president of Cambodian Rubber Association, and owner of Kampong Cham’s Chub rubber plantation, said yesterday that his company’s exports from January to November of this year had reached 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes – surpassing last years’ exports by around 1,000 tonnes.
Mak Kim Hong estimated the demand for rubber in 2012 might surpass 2011 numbers by about 1.5 million tonnes.
He said the global growth in demand for rubber had caused an increase in this year’s price, but the recent European debt crisis had caused prices to decrease slightly.