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Rubber prices rise as export values tumble   2009-05-04 - Viet Nam News

The price of rubber has risen significantly in the past two months but still remains lower than at the same time last year, according to Viet Nam Rubber Association general secretary Nguyen Thuy Hoa.

Vietnamese rubber exporters earned only $200mil in the first four months of this year, down 48% from the corresponding period of last year.

Rubber was at an average of US$1,600 per tonne in April, up about $100 from a month earlier and up more than $300 from January's price, Hoa said, attributing the increase to rising world demand, supplies made tighter by weather conditions, and higher transportation costs.

The price of rubber has also been volatile worldwide, climbing in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia while decreasing in China and Japan.

Rubber coded RSS 3 for April delivery was fetching $1.52 per kilo on Thai commodities markets, up 2.7 per cent over March, while RIS 20 has inched up 1.76 per cent to $1.445 in Indonesia.

But rubber prices in Japan fell 4 per cent from March due to production cuts in the nation's automotive industry, with industry leader Toyota alone scaling back production by 12 per cent this year.

Vietnamese rubber exporters earned only $200 million in the first four months of this year, down 48 per cent from the corresponding period of last year, although export volumes fell only 7 per cent, totalling 150,000 tonnes.

Other leading exporters were seeing similar declines. Thailand, for instance, exported only nearly 720,000 tonnes of rubber in the first quarter, a 5.7 per cent decrease year-on-year.

In a move to prevent further price reductions in the coming months, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have decided to cut production by roughly 915,000 tonnes in this year, equivalent to 15 per cent of its total export volume last year.

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