Myanmar’s burgeoning rubber production will see an export of around 300,000 tonnes of rubber this year, more than its government’s estimate of 260,000 tonnes, according to the Secretary of Myanmar’s Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA), U Khaing Myint.
Myint has said that the nation’s rubber plantations have been steadily increasing in area and will generate more production in the upcoming years – replanting of new rubber trees while cutting down older trees which aren’t of use has ensured some 800,000 acres of land are actively producing rubber, which contributed to 56% more rubber exports in 2017.
However, only 8% of locally produced rubber is used for domestic consumption while the remaining is exported – 70% goes to the world’s largest rubber consumer, China. Thailand remains the top rubber producer globally with an annual yield of about 4.6 million tonnes, followed by Indonesia (2.4 million tonnes per year), and Malaysia (2.2 million tonnes per year).
The government hopes to propel Myanmar as a substantial exporter of rubber whilst international demand for rubber is rising. Rubber and rubber products are actively promoted by the government’s National Export Strategy to raise total exports and narrow the trade deficit; plans are also underway to construct a central marketplace for trading rubber at the seaport hub of Mawlamyiang.