Vietnam ’s rubber export turnover reached 2.32 billion USD in 2010, exceeding the target of 1.5 billion USD set for the whole year, up 89.1 percent as compared to 2009.

The strong growth was attributable to consecutive increases in rubber prices and the world’s increasing demand due to countries’ industrial recovery and their insufficient reserves.

In the first 11 months of 2010, the average rubber price was over 2,900 USD per tonne, representing a year-on-year increase of 82 percent.

In its ten largest markets, except China , Vietnam ’s rubber products saw high increases in consumption volumes. India topped the list as it tripled rubber volume from Vietnam as compared to 2009.

According to experts, rubber supplies in Vietnam , Thailand and Malaysia are forecast to drop while demands will continue rising in 2011. These will be important factors leading to increasing rubber prices during the year.

Stephen Evans, General Secretary of the World Rubber Study Group, said that China , the world’s largest rubber importer, will import around 1.75 million tonnes of rubber in 2011, up 3 million tonnes over last year.

However, Vietnam ’s rubber exports to China , which consumes 60-70 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total rubber export volume, are still facing risks and instability as half of Vietnamese exports to China are through borders with “flexible” control policies.

Therefore, to boost the sustainable development of the Vietnamese rubber industry, besides China, businesses should diversify their markets through expanding exports to the US, Germany, the Republic of Korea and former Soviet Union countries, said Dinh Van Tien, Head of the Vietnam Rubber Group’s Import-Export Department.

Domestic rubber producers also need to improve products’ quality and designs, he added./.