Natural rubber export prices are on a rising trend since the beginning of May following concerted efforts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA), reported the Thoi bao Kinh Te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times).

In the first half of May, natural rubber export prices increased to 1,655 USD per tonne, up 73 USD or 4.6 percent, from the average price in April, and the increasing trend continues, reaching 1,790 USD per tonne on June 12.

It is forecast that prices will maintain their momentum throughout June due to boosted imports from Chinese partners for stockpile.

Vietnamese natural rubber export to China has benefited from the " most favoured nation " ( MFN ) status with a 20 percent import tariff, compared to 40 percent for those which do not have the MFN

According to Dr. Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, Head of the VRA Office, rubber prices will be fluctuating between 1,500 and 2,500 USD per tonne and will remain in that range until 2020 due to high stock.

In addition, natural rubber export prices are under pressure as the fall of crude oil prices make synthetic rubber cheaper, Hoa added.

Hoa said the rubber sector needs to increase land use efficiency, reduce both outputs and production costs while replacing aging trees which produce less latex.

Hoa advised the industry to shift according to market demands, ensure the quality of natural rubber, expand markets, build brands, develop the processing industry and manage planning.

The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked rubber processors to strictly supervise the process of collection, transportation, preservation and quality control to ensure product quality.

The department will coordinate with the VRA to develop and publish quality standards for raw latex and finished products at processing factories.

Vietnam’s rubber exports in the first five months reached 330,000 tonnes with 475 million USD in revenue, up 30.1 percent in volume but down 2.9 percent in value.

China, India and Malaysia continue to be the main markets for Vietnamese rubber, together accounting for 69.03 percent.-VNA