VIETNAM: Rubber sales fall in tough year

The world rubber market is in a difficult period, as the global stockpile of rubber will reach 2.17 million tonnes in 2014, which means an oversupply, Hoa said.

The average export price of rubber last year fell 30%; this year, the price continued falling, plunging 17.7% to USD 2,393 per tonne in the first nine months.

According to the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), the export price on the world market is expected to drop further because global rubber output will reach 11.8 million tonnes, higher than global demand (11.6 million).

Viet Nam is the world\'s third-largest rubber producer and the fifth-largest rubber exporter. However, the export value of Vietnamese rubber is not high because the local rubber industry has not implemented modern processing technology, Hoa said.

Because Vietnamese rubber is viewed as low quality, almost all rubber products are exported to China. Local exporters have not made luxury products to ship to other potential markets such as the US, South Korea, Germany and Japan.

The local rubber industry has a development strategy to improve the value and quality of rubber products, Hoa said. The VRA has studied world demand and promoted quality management to improve the industry\'s competitive ability and build a trademark for Vietnamese rubber products.

In the first nine months of this year, Viet Nam exported 710,000 tonnes of rubber, earning USD 1.68 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Exports fell year-on-year by 1.2% in volume and 17.8% in value.

China was still the largest export market of Vietnamese rubber, accounting for 42.7% of the total export value, but exports in the first nine months tumbled 10.3% in volume and 24.8% in value.

Viet Nam\'s second-largest rubber export market was Malaysia, accounting for 21.2% of the total export value.

Source: Daily \"Vietnam News\", Hanoi; 17 Oct 2013(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)