Tyre and tube production in Vietnam has enormously increased since early this year due to low price of natural rubber on the local market, according to experts.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam saw a year-on-year decline of 23.1 percent in export volume of rubber to 144,000 tonnes and 42 percent in export value to 292 million USD in the first quarter of this year.

Over the last few months, export price of local rubber dropped many times to as low as 40 million VND (1,900 USD) per tonne recently, that is, a drop to half the price from 2011 because of oversupply in the world market.

Farmers and enterprises producing rubber faced difficulties in production and business due to the decline in exports.

Nguyen Hong Phu, deputy general director of the Vietnam Rubber Industrial Group (VRG), said the drop in price of rubber, however, was advantageous to the tire and tube industries in Vietnam, reported Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economics Time) newspaper.

Therefore, in the first quarter of this year, the VRG gained an increase of 10 percent in export value of tire and tube compared with major export markets of ASEAN and Middle East countries the same period last year, he added.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Chemical Group (Vinachem) claimed its production of rubber tyres and tubes had increased in the first quarter of this year due to the low price of rubber.

Its industrial production value reached 1.62 trillion VND, which is 2.4 percent higher than the same period last year.

In the first quarter of this year, output of its products had an increase of 6.5 percent to 434,772 units of auto tire, of 12.7 percent to 1.3 million units of motor bicycle, and 13.4 percent to 2.5 million units of bicycle compared with the same period last year.

Vinachem's exports of tyres and tubes accounted for 29.6 percent of the group's export value.

At present, Vietnam has 830 enterprises in the tyre industry, including 30 production enterprises, 170 trading companies, 170 exporting companies, and 460 tyre importing companies.

In recent years, Vietnam has changed from being a country that imported rubber tyres and tube products to one that exports them.

Now, the local tyre and tube industry has ramped up technological investment to produce high-grade products such as radial and steel-belted radial tyres for all markets.-VNA