Big natural rubber producers might limit exports

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April 21- , , and Malaysia might limit exports of to reduce price volatility, the head of , an industry body set up by the three countries, said on Friday.

IRCo will reduce export volumes to stabilise natural rubber prices if volatility persists, President Titus Suksaard told reporters in Bangkok.

Suksaard gave no indication as to when this could happen or by how much exports would be reduced.

IRCo was set up over a decade ago under an agreement to ensure sustainability and help protect smallholders growing natural rubber.

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Suksaard said Thai natural rubber prices are too low due to excessive speculation despite fundamentals that show lower supply and higher demand.

Thai sheet prices reached near five-year highs in January, but have since fallen nearly 27%.

Thai rubber production is expected to be lower this year due to prolonged heavy rainfall in the main rubber growing area of southern Thailand early this year, he said.

Higher car sales in major natural rubber consuming countries and expected growth in China’s natural rubber consumption suggest a healthy market, he said.

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