FAR EAST: Excessive stockpile causes drop in rubber prices

In a press statement issued on 9 Feb. 2014, SRIB said global rubber production in 2013 was at 11.518 million metric tonnes, while consumption of raw materials was at 10.995 million metric tonnes.

"The board sympathises with rubber smallholders in the state as well as throughout Malaysia over the prevailing low prices for the commodity.

"The SMR 20 rubber price, which is the benchmark price of international rubber, dropped from RM13,483 per metric tonne in 2011 to RM9,525 in 2012.It further slid to RM6,200 per metric tonne today (9 Feb. 2014),” it added.

According to the SRIB, the slow recovery of the United States' economy, coupled with the economic standstill of Europe, as well as lower growth in Chinese manufacturing, had further lowered demand for rubber despite higher production in producing countries.

The statement said of the major rubber producers in 2013, Thailand produced 3.9 million metric tonnes, followed by Indonesia (2.8 million), Vietnam (854,000) and Malaysia (845,000).

According to the statement, the minimum payment for raw rubber to smallholders for cup lumps in the Peninsular and Sarawak was RM2 per kg, while in Sabah, it was RM2.10.

The average latex price in the peninsula on the other hand, was RM5.80 per kg, while in Sabah and Sarawak, it was RM6.10.

Source: "Borneo Post Online", 11 Feb 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)