MALAYSIA: Rubber prices set to be stable at between RM5.25-RM5.70 until year-end

He said this was based on various factors, among them the current average price and supply and demand. "Last night (1 August 2014), SMR 20 closed at RM5.37 a kg. The prices are expected to move between RM5.25 and RM5.70 until December," he said.

He said the prices of rubber were currently down because of higher supply compared to demand. The key consumers like China, Japan, US and Europe reduced their demand because of weak economic conditions, he said. "The rubber prices will crash if Thailand, one of the main producers, were to release its stockpile in the market," he said.

Ahmad encouraged smallholders to boost output of latex which could be used for production of gloves and condoms. "They can also get involved in other sectors to increase their earnings," he said.

Source: "Bernama" (National News Agency of Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur; 2 Aug 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)