Date
23 March 2017
A worker taps a rubber tree to collect raw latex in a plantation in Thailand. Farmers have demanded more support from government as natural rubber prices have fallen steeply. Photo: Bloomberg
A worker taps a rubber tree to collect raw latex in a plantation in Thailand. Farmers have demanded more support from government as natural rubber prices have fallen steeply. Photo: Bloomberg

World’s top rubber producers to cut exports amid price slide

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have agreed to cut rubber exports collectively by nearly 20 percent in a bid to stem the steep decline in prices of the commodity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The nations, which together account for around 70 percent of global rubber output, said they will reduce exports by 615,000 metric tons over the six-month period starting March 1, the report said.

The move comes as the three countries, which together form the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), are battling a near-70 percent slide in natural-rubber prices over the past five years.

The ITRC was quoted as saying that it is optimistic the export cuts will help rubber prices to recover. 

For Southeast Asian governments, which often rely on rural voters to stay in power, weakness in the rubber market has become a thorny political issue, the Journal noted.

In Thailand, farmers have threatened protests and even hunger strikes as they demanded more support from their government.

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