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NEWS UPDATES 29 July 2009

SE Asia’s top rubber makers to cut exports further 

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Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand - the world's three largest rubber producers - may further cut their rubber exports this year due to the continuing slump in demand, the Jakarta Post reported, quoting a director of the Indonesian rubber association.

"Considering the continuing decline of prices in the international market, we may cut our exports further. "We're watching closely the latest developments in the rubber market," Suharto Honggokusumo, executive director of the Indonesian Rubber Association (Gapkindo), said on Monday.

Suharto confirmed a Bloomberg report stating there would be a further cut as the global economic recession curbed consumption.

Bloomberg quoted Abdul Rasip Latiff, chief executive officer of the International Rubber Consortium Ltd, in an interview in Bali. Demand for rubber, used mostly in tyres, may drop by around 1 million metric tons from 2008, he said.

Suharto said the latest price of rubber in the international market was reported at 164 US cents per kilogram.

"If prices go down further, I think we will have to further reduce our supply to put an end to the declining trend in the international market."

He added the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), comprising Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, had previously decided to cut their rubber exports by 700,000 tons this year.

The three countries' total production accounts for about 70 percent of the world's total production of natural rubber. Based on data from the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), the world's total production of natural rubber last year stood at around 10 million tons, and synthetic rubber at around 14 million tons.

The world's total consumption of natural rubber was around 10 million tons while synthetic rubber consumption was 13.2 million tons.



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