BANGKOK (Feb. 9, 2015) — Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have agreed to withhold 615,000 metric tons of natural rubber (NR) from the market for six months in a bid to shore up NR prices, according to the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC).
The three countries announced the “agreed export tonnage scheme,” to run from March 1 to Aug. 31, at a recent ministerial meeting of members of the ITRC.
For comparison purposes, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) data show monthly production by its members to be roughly 900,000 tons.
At the meeting, the officials expressed their concern over the continuing slump in NR prices and its impact on the income of smallholders in their countries.
The countries also pledged to increase domestic consumption under initiatives such as the use of NR for road construction, rail pads for railway construction and other high-volume applications.
The ITRC said it was “optimistic” that the new measures could help rubber prices to recover.
The council earlier noted that the price of NR had fallen 38 percent since June and in January hit its lowest level since March 2009, on concerns that China demand was slowing.