MALAYSIA: Malaysia can expect 10 per cent growth in rubber exports this year

The outlook for the rubber industry is getting rosier with exports set to rise by at least 10 per cent this year from RM16.028 billion last year, driven by continued strong demand, thanks largely to the global economic recovery.

Against such a backdrop, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has asked the industry to take advantage of the pick up in demand by being ready with competitive products sought by major importing countries.

Last year, rubber exports increased by 24 per cent compared to RM12.478 billion in 2009, he told reporters after a dialogue session with rubber and rubber-based industry associations on 3 May.

Meanwhile, total sales of rubber products last year amounted to RM13.6 billion, with rubber gloves accounting for 57 per cent of the sales, tyres and tubes at 14 per cent and all other products collectively at 28 per cent.

Mustapa said Malaysia, as the world's third largest rubber producer after Thailand and Indonesia, would increase rubber production to 980,000 tonnes this year from 940,000 tonnes last year, backed by the current market prices.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)