Cambodia’s rubber exports was up by 23%, a revenue of US$231 million, during the January-September period, while rubber exports to China averaged US$1,303 per metric tonne – rubber demand/prices could remain stable or slightly increase over the next few years, or so thinks the Director of the Department of Administration and Legislation under the Agriculture Ministry’s General Directorate of Rubber (GDR).
GDR data shows that total rubber tree plantations in the Kingdom, measuring 434,552 hectares’ worth, amounted to 173,072 metric tonnes of rubber exports, which marks a year-on-year increase of about 23.4% from 140,303 metric tonnes.
However, the rubber market during this period was not as strong as previously – the current rise in rubber exports is merely due to an increase in the number of mature rubber trees, which produce a larger yield, as explained by Men Sopheak, the Director of Sopheak Nika Investment Agro-Industrial Plants. The company exports rubber to Vietnam, India, China and South Korea, but exportsis said to have decreased by 10% from last year due to a lack of workforce.
Sopheak added: “Prices have come down due to the global economic crisis, including the trade dispute between China and the US. Slowing global growth leads to slowing demand.” He believes that the rubber industry will continue to face challenges until the end of this year as buyers turn to African countries for cheaper supply, which could reasonably affect the Kingdom’s exports.