Rubber export income down about $30 mln in seven months (Oct-Apr)

Rubber. Photo Kun Win Pa 72 1024x640 1
A woman is preparing to smoke raw rubber sheets in a warehouse in Thuwunna Waddi, Mon State.  Photo: Khun (Win Pa)

Myanmar has exported 114,000 tonnes of rubber worth over US$140 million as of April-end in the current financial year since 1 October 2019, which shows a decrease of about $30 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed.
During a year-ago period, over $170 million worth 136,000 tonnes were shipped to the external markets.
At present, rubber prices range K900-1,850 per viss ( a viss equals to 1.6 kg) depending on quality and variety, as per data of the local rubber market.
“Rubber export drops amid the coronavirus pandemic due to the falling demand and difficulties in trade.
An improvement in Myanmar rubber exports will be directly related to the price offered, according to the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA).
The volatile rubber price is related to global climate change, and government subsidy will be required for growers to produce quality rubber, said an official of the MRPPA.
Rubber is primarily produced in Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi, Bago, and Yangon regions in Myanmar. There are over 1.6 million acres of rubber plantations in Myanmar, with Mon State accounting for about 500,000 acres, followed by Kayin State (270,000 acres), according to the MRPPA.
About 300,000 tonnes of rubber are 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, Korea, India, Japan, and other countries.
At present, Myanmar is exporting only raw rubber sheets owing to lack of machinery and technology. Export rubber varieties include synthetic rubber, ribbed smoked sheet RSS 1, 3, 5, Myanmar Standard Rubber MSR-20, Technically Specified Rubber TSR-20, and Crepe Rubber. The MRPPA had sought special rubber zones in the regions and states to produce value-added rubber and quality raw materials at the 15th regular meeting with private entrepreneurs, led by Vice President 1, which was held last year.
About 150,000 tonnes of rubber was exported in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Myanmar shipped over 190,000 tons of rubber, with an estimated value of $250 million, to external markets in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, an increase of 41,000 tons which helped boost earnings by $60 million compared to the year-ago period, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce. —GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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