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Thailand has no influence on global rubber pricess: agriculture minister
Publication Date : 30-08-2013
Although Thailand is a major rubber producer, it has no influence over the global market price as the country has to rely mainly on exports, Thai Agriculture Minister Yukol Limlaemthong said on Thursday.
He said Thailand produced about 3.6 million tonnes of rubber a year, some 3 million tonnes of which was exported. Because of the global economic recession, the price of the commodity has fallen from a peak of 120 baht (US$3.74) a kilogramme to 70 baht at present, according to the agriculture minister.
Yukol, who is also a deputy prime minister, said the government now had about 200,000 tonnes of rubber in its stockpiles.
Thailand's Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry's Rubber Estate Organisation last year bought rubber from farmers at 100 baht a kilogramme, with the goal of boosting the market price to 120 baht. As at the end of March this year, some 20 billion baht had been spent on a project aimed at shoring up the rubber price - out of 45 billion baht allocated for the project.
The minister said the government had been approached by Chinese importers who offered to buy rubber at 60 baht a kilogramme, or 40 baht lower than what the government had offered farmers. He said the reason importers offered such a low price was that they were aware that the Thai government still has large quantities of rubber in its stockpile.
*US$1 = 32.10 baht