Cambodia exported 179,621 tonnes of rubber in the first nine months of 2020, a jump of 3.78 per cent from the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

During this period, however, the average price of rubber on the international market was $1,288 per tonne, down $51 year-on-year.

The average selling price of latex increased to $1,266 per tonne in September, an increase of $26 from August, but down from $64 per tonne compared to September last year.

Plouk Botum Bopha, the owner of a rubber, pepper and durian plantation that covers more than 200ha in Ratanakkiri province, told The Post she harvested an average of 1,000 tonnes of rubber per year, generating an average income of $8,000 after expenses.

The average price of latex is 2,500 riel ($0.60) to 2,700 riel per kilogramme, which is 3,000 riel per kilogram lower than last year.

“Due to the weather and frequent rainstorms I missed 15 days of the rubber harvest and we lost part of our income, but we estimate that the harvest is still stable,” she said.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the purchase price of local household rubber in the first nine months is between 4,100 riel per kilogram for latex and 1,900 to 2,350 riel per kilogramme of frozen latex.

Heng Sreng, general manager of the Boeung Ket Rubber Plantation in Kampong Cham province, told The Post on Thursday his company’s rubber exports fell by about 30 per cent, but the price of rubber rose slightly to $1,500 per tonne, which is the selling price at Ho Chi Minh City port.

He said due to market and price issues his company has shifted away from rubber plantations to yellow banana plantations, which are in high demand in China. So far, his company’s banana plantation has grown to more than 2,000ha.

“As the price of rubber continues to fall gradually, I decided to cut down many hectares of rubber trees to plant yellow bananas because bananas are more expensive and bring a larger profit,” he said.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, rubber plantations in Cambodia account for a total of 403,195ha.

Cambodia exported 282,071 tonnes of rubber worth $377 million in 2019, up 30 per cent from 2018, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to a report by Research and Markets, latex prices will continue to fall this year until 2021.

China has the highest demand for rubber in the world, accounting for 41 per cent of the world’s total rubber production.