Rubber growers face hardship from plunge in rubber price

Rubber growers are facing hardship from steady drop in rubber price that forced workers out of the farms, according to Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association.
Shutdown of some rubber farming were driven by drop in prices of rubber in the global market and the lack of production of quality products for having a good price, said U Khaing Myint, secretary of the association.
“Fall in price and our products that cannot meet foreign demand have left the country’s rubber market in the hopeless position.” According to the association, 90 percent of rubber growers across the country are operating in a manageable scale, and they expressed no interest to the program encouraging cultivation of high quality rubber variety that had been conducted with international support in 2005.
It is hard to attract small-scale rubber growers to accept the concept of growing high quality rubber variety for fetching a good price, said the secretary, adding that the program failed due to the lack of their cooperation. Apart from the plunge in rubber price, growers are suffering from high production costs, said U Kyaw Lin, a rubber grower from Kayin State.
According to statistics, rubber exports, reaching 60,000 tons for this fiscal year, dropped by 20,000 tons compared to the last year’s data. Despite fetching around K700 a pound last year, rubber trading is at a price of around K530 per pound in the local market this year, said the association.

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