THAILAND: Minister targets reduced production cost to shore up rubber price

Yukol on Friday (19 July 2013) told a seminar on reducing production costs and increasing Thailand's rubber produce for competitive ability in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that Thailand's top exported product is rubber. However, its export value last year declined despite rubber export quantity rising to 3.2 million tonnes and current rubber prices not tending to increase, partly due to large rubber stockpiles in Thailand and China.

A committee was set up to inventory stockpiles for further planning and management.

The minister said Agriculture Ministry's first measure to tackle rubber price problems is to find clear production costs in an effort to stabilize rubber prices in accordance with demand/supply. High market demand can carry prices as high as Bt150/kg.

Related parties are to determine actual production costs and how much farmers should earn, Yukol noted, adding that farmers are also to improve themselves by applying new technology for reducing costs and pushing for more rubber exports in order that Thailand can become the rubber centre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Source: Daily "Pattaya Mail", Pattaya City; 19 July 2013

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)