About 170,000 tons of rubber are to be exported this fiscal year 2018-2019, said U Khaing Myint, secretary of Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA).
We have increased export target, as latex production is likely to increase in the coming rubber season, he added.
“There are over 1.63 million acres of rubber plantations across the country and 700,000 acres can produce latex. The number of production acreages will increase up to 800,000 in coming season, and so we have increased the export volume”, said U Khaing Myint.
China constitutes 70 per cent of Myanmar’s rubber export, which also goes to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, South Korea, India and Japan. Myanmar’s rubber is primarily grown in Mon and Kayin states and Yangon, Bago and Taninthayi regions. About 150,000 tons of rubber were shipped to foreign markets last fiscal year.
Myanmar’s rubber producers are not consistent enough in assessing the quality of their products, as it varies across farms. Therefore, Myanmar’s rubber is sold at $400 per ton lower than the global market price.
Group processing will result in quality constancy after rubber latex is sent to the respective rubber sheet smoking and latex production factories.
At present, an ethnic-owned Rubber Smoked Sheet Factory established in Taninthayi Region is purchasing and processing rubber. With the Mon State government’s loan, rubber producers are planning to set up 28 standard rubber sheet factories. Kayin State has four similar ones.
Thaiand-based South Land Myanmar Company is preparing to purchase rubber at an international price if it is of standard quality. The company is also prepping for establishment of more rubber factories in Mon State next season.
“Rubber farm owners need to produce quality rubber. If rubber producers can ensure quality constancy, it will be offered similar price to the global price”, said U Khaing Myint.
Currently, most of the local rubber producers are still stuck in traditional methods, resulting in lack of quality. They are far removed from advanced technology, said rubber producers.
“I attended a rubber workshop, but I still cannot reach advanced rubber technology. If there are rubber education training courses and technology programmes, we will attend and follow them”, said Daw Lin Lin Tun, a rubber farm owner from Hlaingbwe Township, Kayin State. Ribbed Smoked Sheet rubber RSS3 fetched US$1,300 per ton in global market, while local rubber was worth Ks820 per pound yesterday.
At present, rubber law (draft) is being developed and it will be revealed to entrepreneurs in early 2019 for a review.
The government and rubber associations are endeavouring to set up a rubber central market after the rubber law comes into effect.
By May Thet Hnin