CAMBODIA: Rubber exports climbing in 2011

The Kingdom's rubber exports have increased 65 percent in the first four months of 2011 compared to the period 2010, according to Ministry of Commerce figures obtained earlier this week.

Some 13,471 tonnes of the crop were exported during the first four months, from 8,175 tonnes during the period last year, the statistics show.

The increase in natural rubber exports has come as Cambodia continually increases the area under plantation and yield sizes, according to Khuon Savuth, director of the Statistics office at the Ministry of Commerce's Camcontrol department.

"The increase of rubber exports shows the growth of Cambodia's economy,” he said.

Mak Kim Hong, President of the Cambodian Rubber Association and the owner of the Kampong Cham province Chub Rubber plantation, said that production was increasing though prices had decreased in recent weeks.

One tonne fetched US$4680 earlier this week, after reaching highs of $5200 earlier this year.

However, prices are still up compared to previous years, when it dropped as low as $3000 per tonne.

Some of Chub's Chinese buyers have postponed orders in recent months, though Chub has been exploring contracts with other buyers - including Japan's Bridgestone tyremaker.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)