The Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA) has urged rubber plantation owners nationwide to scale down their latex exploitation as one of the measures to deal with falling latex prices, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

VRA said price declines on global markets have led to lower latex prices on the local market, forcing a number of rubber tree farm owners to reduce or even suspend their latex extraction since mid-May to cut costs.

Many households in the Southeastern and Central Highlands regions have chopped down both old and young rubber trees in their plantations to plant other industrial trees and high-yield crops.

Statistics from the Department of Cultivation showed 3,000 hectares of rubber tree has been cut and shifted to other industrial plants and crops as of June this year.

VRA has worked with associations in other major rubber-producing countries such as Thailand and Malaysia to scale down latex exploitation and manage to peg their prices to those on global markets.

Latex prices in Vietnam’s Southeastern region have dropped to 35 million VND per tonne, down 2 million VND compared to last month.

A latex trading firm said it is difficult to predict the natural latex price on the local market as it varies depending on global demand and prices.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam posted export revenue of 644 million USD from shipping 337,000 tonnes of rubber in the first six months this year, down 12 percent in volume and 33 percent in value over the same period last year.

The ministry said the average export price of natural latex in January-May stood at 1,842 USD per tonne, down 29 percent compared to the same period last year.-VNA