MYANMAR: Rubber price keeps climbing

Prices of export-quality rubber rose this month, and are likely to stay high, producers say. High-quality latex has doubled in price.

U Hla Min, a rubber exporter in Tanintharyi Region, said the price of 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of ribbed smoked sheet (RSS) 1 rubber rose from K1400 in September to K1500 in November.

He added that price of high-quality RSS5 rubber had almost doubled since last year.

"Rubber producers are more interested in quantity than quality, so prices of export-quality rubbers have increased. A pound of RSS5 rubber that cost K700 in November 2009 now fetches K1350,” said U Hla Min.

U Myint Maung Kyaw, a rubber exporter in Yangon, said he thought the price would remain stable through to the end of the year.

"Latex prices may stay high until next season,” he said.

Myanmar is also exporting more rubber, said U Khine Myint, general secretary of Myanmar Rubber Planters' and Producers Association.

"In 2009, Myanmar exported 78,000 tonnes of rubber, rising to 95,000 tonnes so far this year,” he said.

He added that only 10 percent of total production was for local use.

"Rubber producers don't get a good enough price if they sell locally,” U Khine Myint said.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)