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Vietnamese Rubber Sector: towards sustainability and efficiency PDF Print
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:35

VIETRADE - The International Rubber Conference 2015 (IRRDB 2015) with the theme “Harnessing Industry Cooperation for A Sustainable Future” was held from 2nd to 6th November 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City by the International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) in collaboration with the Rubber Research Institute of Vietnam. In particular, the official conference took place in two days ( 2nd and 3rd November); in 4th November, the delegates had a field trip to the factories and field of Phuoc Hoa Rubber Joint Stock Company and annual meeting of IRRDB executive committees was held in two days (5th – 6th November).


In the context of sharp falling rubber prices that Rubber Producing Countries are facing, the IRRDB 2015’s conference aims to share research results and experiences in developing rubber trees and rubber products from many countries in the region.


IRRDB 2015 had the attendance of more than 300 delegates, including researchers in the field of agriculture and rubber production technology from 16 countries in Asia, Africa, America and Europe. During the two days of official conference, nearly 100 scientific reports were presented by speakers from France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, China, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Thailand and Vietnam in various fields, such as agronomy, biotechnology, plant breeding, plant protection, environment, technology and rubber processing ..., which covered methods and technical progress in order to reduce costs, increase profitability and sustainability of the rubber industry.


According to experts, it was the consecutive decrease in rubber prices in recent years that made the rubber trees in Vietnam as well as the region and the world faced many difficulties, even in many plantations, rubber trees were not exploited due to low prices. The main cause of this condition comes from the rapid decrease in consumption from major import markets. Dealing with the low price latex, Vietnam has adopted a number of measures, such as: changing the frequency of exploits, advancing mechanization, intercropping...


Statistics has shown that Vietnam now has nearly 978,000 hectares of rubber, accounting for 8.7% of world production, ranking  second in the world in terms of productivity (after India) and third in the world yield (after Thailand and Indonesia). Experts said that there is still huge potential for improving productivity and rubber production in Vietnam and other countries. Productivity and quality are perceived as the critical factors to improve a sustainable rubber industry and efficiency to the producers.


According to experts, Vietnam needs to continue strengthening and improving the quality of rubber in order to raise prices and profits. In addition, Vietnam should expand potential emerging markets such as Europe, Turkey Japan, South Korea to minimize the negative impacts of the world rubber price to the growing and processing of rubber in the country.


As reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in May 10th, 2015, Vietnam exported 120,000 tons of rubber with export turnover of US$149 million. In the first 10 months of 2015, export volume of rubber reached 870,000 tons worth US$1.22 billion, up 3.5% in term of volume, but dropped by 15.8% in term of value over the same period in 2014.


The average export price of rubber in first 9 months of 2015 was US$1,426/ ton, a decrease of 19.4% compared to the same period in 2014. China, Malaysia and India remained the three largest import markets of Vietnam in the first 9 months of 2015, accounting for 71.88% market share. At the same time, the export value of rubber increased by 3.17% in the Chinese market and dropped in nine main import markets, compared to the same period of 2014.

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