Natural rubber price plunges to K750 per pound on weak global trend

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A worker loading smoked rubber sheets to a truck at a rubber market.  Photo: Supplied

By Nyein Nyein

Domestic natural rubber’s price fell to K750 per pound as global price slid into a bear market, said U Khaing Myint, Secretary of Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA). The natural rubber hit up to K1,000 per pound at the end of 2020. At present, the rubber price drastically dropped to K750 per pound. Rubber price stood at US$2,600 per tonne in 2020-end in global market, whereas it fetches only $2,100 per pound at present. “Myanmar’s natural rubber price is tracking the global rates. The price slid to around K740-750 per pound at present”, he said.
The pandemic hinders international producers. Consequently, natural rubber prices went into a bear market, he continued. “Rubber price is directly related to the coronavirus situations. The lockdown in London and Europe with the heightened COVID-19 measures affected the rubber market,” U Khaing Myint affirmed.
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 made 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. Thailand is buying Myanmar’s natural rubber at a reasonable price through the black market in Phayathonzu, Kawthoung and Myeik towns. As a result of this, the government needs to control illegal rubber exports strictly, MRPPA stated.
Myanmar yearly exports over 200,000 tonnes of natural rubber to foreign countries, generating over $200 million. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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