BANGKOK: Top rubber producers will meet in Malaysia next week to discuss measures to support prices, said Thailand’s Agriculture Minister yesterday, as farmers reel from a slide in the value of the commodity to a five-year low.
A supply glut and weak demand from main consumer China drove international rubber prices to the weakest level since 2009 last Friday.
Thai and Malaysian rubber producers said last week they supported an Indonesian proposal to set a minimum price, but have made no announcements on how they plan to put a floor under the market.
Rubber producers have yet to agree on any concrete measures to reverse the price slide, Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya said after a meeting, here, with Plantations Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas.
“Our senior officials will meet next week,” Petipong said. “What I’m trying to do is review the measures that have been discussed in the past to see what is possible.”
Petipong and Douglas plan to call a ministerial meeting with other rubber producers in Southeast Asia at a later date, said a Thai agriculture ministry official.
Previous efforts to shore up prices by the three major Southeast Asian producers — who account for more than 70 per cent of global natural rubber output — have had little success even when they involved concrete measures such as supply cuts.
Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, grouped under the International Rubber Consortium, last acted
jointly in 2012-2013, agreeing to
cut exports by 300,000 tonnes, or about three per cent of 2012 global output.
Rubber prices rose briefly in response to that plan before sliding again due to fears that the debt crisis in Europe could derail demand.
Thai and Malaysian rubber producers said last week they supported an Indonesian proposal to set a US$1.50 (RM4.80) a kg minimum price for rubber. Reuters