Exports are forecast to rise marginally to 4.17 million tonnes this year, from 4.09 million tonnes last year.
However, the actual volume exported may be lower because of the government’s recent goal to use an additional 200,000 tonnes of rubber domestically among state agencies, such as for infrastructure projects and roads.
Thailand currently uses about 600,000-800,000 tonnes domestically and exports the rest.
The Thai government said in December it aimed to push the country’s domestic consumption of rubber to 1 million tonnes per year to prevent market oversupply.
In December, the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) — which consists of Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia — agreed to cut natural rubber exports by up to 350,000 tonnes until the end of March to stabilise global prices.
The three countries produced 8.49 million tonnes of rubber in 2017, accounting for 62.75% of the world’s rubber output.