The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) agreed to work towards a common trading floor in a bid to take control of supply sources and regulate the market for the sake of rubber growers at its ministerial-level meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 8.

Founded in 1970, the ANRPC is an inter-governmental organisation grouping 11 countries - Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 2014, overall production of its members accounted for 92 percent of the rubber yield worldwide.

Participating ministers agreed that the association needs to become an official latex-related information source and work with other organisations, such as the International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB), to promote joint-study outcomes.

Given the decreasing rubber price effects on growers’ incomes, the ministers reached a consensus to establish a market research group, which is to put forth effective solutions balancing supply and demand, including the setting up of the common trading floor.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Douglas Uggah Embas, expressed his hope that Vietnam, the world third largest natural rubber producer, will soon join the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) which currently consists of Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

According to Uggah, Vietnam recently agreed to collaborate with the ITRC members in efforts to raise rubber prices. Vietnam and the ITRC members together make up 75 percent of the total global rubber production.

Vietnamese Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat said, Vietnam, as a major rubber producer in the world, should participate deeply in activities of international rubber alliances, including ITRC.

Such participation will produce positive impacts to the global rubber market, he said.

Concerning the domestic market situation, Phat shared that Vietnamese farmers should be equipped with suitable rubber planting models and technologies rather than focus on expanding plantation and increasing yield.-VNA