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Rubber exporters enjoy windfall   2010-08-11 - Viet Nam News

The country exported 324,000 tonnes of rubber worth US$893 million in the first seven months of the year, according to the Viet Nam Rubber Association.

Workers process latex for export at the Chu Pa Rubber Company. The rubber industry earned US$893 million from exports in the first seven months of the year thanks to rising rubber prices. (Photo: VNS)

The figure represented a 3.4 per cent decrease in volume but 85 per cent increase in revenue since rubber prices rose last year, the association’s general secretary, Tran Thuy Hoa, said.

The average export price in the first seven months was $2,744 a tonne, 92.7 per cent higher than in the same period last year, according to the VRA.

Global prices increased between January and April due to a recovery in demand from many industries and a fall in supply, she said, though prices edged down in May and June.

Global consumption of natural rubber is expected to be 10.43 million tonnes this year, 8 per cent higher than last, she said.

With output unlikely to rise significantly this year, prices are forecast to rise again in the remaining months of the year, she said. They are hovering at $3,038 a tonne now.

China is the largest buyer of Vietnamese rubber, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s total rubber exports. Of last year’s exports of $1.2 billion, $800 million was to China.

Chinese market

Of Viet Nam’s 216 exporters, 125 trade with China, mostly across the border.

Thus, when authorities there curtailed rubber imports in April, Vietnamese exports plunged for the next two months, Hoa said, pulling down overall exports inordinately.

In June, exports to China resumed after authorities loosened the ban.

To avoid a similar scenario in future and depending too much on that market, rubber exporters have begun to explore other markets, she said.

As a result, exports to several markets like Malaysia, Taiwan, Germany and Russia have shot up this year.

The EU is considered a lucrative market though very difficult to penetrate since it requires high quality while most Vietnamese rubber products are of medium quality.

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