Rubber planting has surged in three provinces in the north of Cambodia on expectations that rubber prices will continue to rise in the future, a government official said.
Ly Phalla, director of the Rubber Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the increase of rubber price this year had led to the expansion of rubber plantations in Kampong Thom, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces.
"As a result of this increase, we hope that Cambodia will have about 20,000 hectares of additional newly planted rubber this year, Ly Phalla said.
Globally, rubber demand is also on the rise, and Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group reported that global consumption would exceed supply this year.
Demand would total 13.3 million tonnes, 114,000 tonnes higher than a previous forecast, while production would increase 6.1 percent to 10.25 million tonnes this year, the group said in an email.
Rubber futures in Tokyo have advanced 36 percent over the past year as demand expands from China and as weather disrupts tapping.
In Cambodia, grade 5 rubber is sold to local market for US$3,000 per tonne.
It was sold for $2,800 per tonne last month.
Ly Phalla said anticipation had led people to grow rubber on land where they had never grown the crops before such as in Veal Veng, Pursat province, and some other places in Koh Kong.
According to the statistics obtained from the three provinces, new rubber grown between January and August this year covers a total 18,790 hectares.
Last year the three provinces' plantations covered 13,000 hectares.