The rubber industry expects to bring home 4.5 billion USD in export this year, according to Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, Chief of the Office of the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA).

In an interview granted to Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times), Hoa revealed that last year the sector’s total export value reached 4.26 billion USD. Overall rubber ranked eighth among the country’s export staples after garment and textiles, telephones, crude oil, electronic products, footwear, seafood and machinery.

She said that the increasing global rubber demand in recent years has encouraged Vietnam to expand its rubber farming to increase export value and improve the socio-economic situation in many localities. As a result, Vietnam has become the fifth biggest natural rubber producer in the world with 910,500 ha of land under rubber trees, producing 836,600 tonnes of rubber in 2012, she said.

She added that the country also ranked fourth in terms of the amount of natural rubber for export, which accounted for 10.6 percent of the market share in 2012. The nation’s rubber tree productivity is about 1,707 tonnes of latex per ha, generating 105 million VND, ranking third after India and Thailand.

Market difficulties have arisen this year due to the insufficient recovery of the global economy, the increase of world supply and the growing amount of competition, Hoa noted.

For a sustainable rubber export strategy, Hoa said the VRA is working with the Trade Promotion of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to rebuild a trade promotion programme with more focus.

It is also encouraging companies to exchange information on price, consumption and market situation to create a suitable trading plan.

Rubber companies, for their part, should improve product quality to meet the demand for export, Hoa said, adding that the VRA is planning to establish a rubber trading floor in 2015 to ensure transparent prices for both the buyers and the sellers.-VNA