Thai buys Myanmar raw rubber at high price via black markets


By Nyein Nyein
Thailand is buying Myanmar raw rubber illegally, paying a high price, said Secretary U Khaing Myint of the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association. Thailand is buying Myanmar raw rubber currently, paying K800 per pound through black markets such as three pagodas pass, Kawthoung and Myeik.
“Thai rubber is the best in the international market, and it is sold at a premium price. So, they are selling the rubber at a high price. Thailand can earn about US$200 per tonne, which is a price higher than that in the international market. Thailand is buying a bit of high-quality raw rubber from Myanmar at a high price. However, their buying is illegal. They could not buy because we could not export the rubber to Thailand legally. That’s the reason why the market price of Myanmar raw rubber is different between legal sale and illegal sale,” he explained.
The legally exported rubber prices in Myanmar are currently K750-800 per pound. If Myanmar can export it legally, the country will earn $1,500-1,600 per tonne, according to Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association.
Price of raw rubber in the international market is over $2,000 per tonne. In contrast, Myanmar natural rubber is selling at the cost of over $400 per tonne. It’s lower than that in the international market. The low quality of Myanmar rubber can also attribute to the low price, he added.
“That’s why the government needs to stop the illegal export of raw rubber to Thailand,” he confirmed.
There are more than 1.6 million acres of rubber plantation in Myanmar and rubber is grown mainly in Mon and Kayin states, Taninthayi, Yangon and Bago regions. Mon state has nearly 500,000 acres of rubber plantation and Kayin state, about 270,000 acres, according to the association. Further, the country produces about 300,000 tonnes of rubber a year. Around 70 per cent of the rubber made is exported mainly to China with the remaining sold to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, South Korea, India and Japan. The country exports over 200,000 tonnes of raw rubber legally and earning over $200 million annually. Presently, Myanmar is implementing the international rubber laboratory project in Hlegu township and will issue the recommendation certificates very soon, according to the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association. (Translated by Hay Mar)

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