Myanmar natural rubber price soar to nearly K1,000 per pound on weak global trend

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Rubber is primarily produced in Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi, Bago, and Yangon regions in Myanmar.

The price of domestic natural rubber jumped to nearly K1,000 per pound as global rubber is in a bull market, Mon State’s rubber market data showed.

The natural quality rubber was priced at K750 per pound in late January 2021, while it reached K950-980 per pound (for RSS1 and RSS3) in the second week of March 2021.

Myanmar’s natural rubber price is tracking the global rates, Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA) stated.
The pandemic hinders international producers. Consequently, natural rubber prices went into a bear market in 2020. However, the natural rubber hit up to K1,000 per pound at the end of 2020.

Myanmar’s rubber is priced lower than the international rate owing to raw material variability. Rubber price stood at US$2,600 per tonne in 2020-end in global market, whereas Myanmar rubber fetches only $2,100 per pound.

“The uniformity is an important quality measure. Tyre manufacturers do not need to change the formula in the production process because of raw material risks. Product uniformity can bring sustainable development for both sides. If there is no raw material variability and risk factor, the price will automatically go up,” MRPPA Chair U Aung Myint Htoo affirmed.

“Myanmar’s rubber body is endeavouring to export its natural rubber with the country of origin labelling to external markets. Nevertheless, illegal exports are happening and it contributes to revenue losses,” added MRPPA Secretary U Khaing Myint.

Thailand is buying Myanmar’s natural rubber at a good price through the black market in Payathonzu, Kawthoung and Myeik towns. As a result of this, the government needs to strictly control illegal rubber exports, MRPPA stated.

Thailand re-exports those illegally imported rubber under its origin label. This being so, we want to earn the country of origin label, said the MRPPA secretary.

Additionally, the natural rubber is estimated at K1,300 per pound in Thailand, whereas Myanmar’s rubber is priced about K400 lower than their prices, he added.

“Myanmar’s rubber has raw material variability and it may lead to quality compliance issues, process inconsistency, productivity problem and high input cost. Meanwhile, Thailand’s rubber is priced at a premium due to its quality and consistency. Thailand’s rubber fetches US$2,500 per tonne, while the global rate is at $2,200 per tonne, U Khaing Myint stated.

Rubber is primarily produced in Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi, Bago, and Yangon regions in Myanmar. As per 2018-2019 rubber season’s data, there are over 1.628 million acres of rubber plantations in Myanmar, with Mon State accounting for 497,153 acres, followed by Taninthayi Region with 348,344 acres and Kayin State with 270,760 acres. About 300,000 tonnes of rubber is produced annually across the country. Seventy per cent of rubber produced in Myanmar goes to China. It is also shipped to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, the Republic of Korea, India, Japan, and other countries, according to the MRPPA.

Myanmar yearly exports over 200,000 tonnes of natural rubber to foreign countries, generating income of over $200 million. — GNLM

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