12/25/2010

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VIETNAM: Latex hits record high price

The cost of latex has reached a record high, climbing to over VND90 million (US$4,300) per tonne due to short supply, said general secretary of Viet Nam Rubber Association (VRA) Ms Tran Thi Thuy Hoa."This is the highest it's ever been. It's even higher than before the world recession," Hoa said."While demand on the production industry has increased significantly thanks to the recovery of the world economy, supplies from main rubber export countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam have remained low," Hoa said, explaining that rubber yields had been seriously affected by bad weather conditions."Due to this, global supply increased by only 5 per cent and the price is likely to continue to rise," she added.The VRA changed its projections for national rubber export turnover after the price of latex started to rise in September."In August, we predicted an annual export turnover of about $1.5 billion. Now, thanks to the higher price, the export turnover for the whole year is forecast to be more than $2.2 billion," Hoa said.If this forecast proved to be correct, it would equate to a 23 per cent increase compared to 2008 and a year-on-year increase of 45 per cent.While the high price was profitable for exporters, it strongly affected production companies."Companies which produce tyres, rubber gloves and mattresses are struggling due to the high price," Hoa said.In the world market, the price of latex is also up. On 15 Dec. 2010, it hit $4,700 per tonne in Tokyo.It is predicted to further increase with demand from China, the biggest consumer in the world market, increasing 13 per cent year-on-year in November.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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