Thailand, which is the world’s largest rubber producer with an output of 3 million tonnes/year, has called on foreign tyre producers to open plants in the country in an effort to promote its domestic market and simultaneously contain its rubber export volume. Deputy Agriculture Minister Yutthapong Charasathian said that the Thai government has sounded out leading tyre manufacturers in the US, China and Japan to expand tyre manufacturing operations in the country.
In order to prevent surpluses in the world rubber markets, which will find prices plummeting, Thailand has resolved to reduce its export volume of rubber by 170,000 tonnes/year while Malaysia and Indonesia are also following suit and will reduce export volumes by a combined 130,000 tonnes/year. “In the face of the government’s plans to reduce the rubber export volume, we’ll have to increase the domestic consumption of the rubber from 16 to 20% annually. For that reason, we’ve suggested the leading tyre manufacturers come to Thailand and open tyre factories,” Yutthapong said. He is certain that the Board of Investment of Thailand would provide incentives to foreign tyre manufacturers. Yutthapong also said that the government has resolved to push the domestic rubber price up from US$2.60 per/kg to not lower than US$3.30 per/kg. (RJA)