Rubber Production Up 32 Percent

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Rubber production increased by 32 percent in the first quarter of the year, with most of it shipped abroad, according to the latest official report.

Rubber being harvested in a plantation in the Cambodian countryside. KT/Chor Sokunthea

From January to March, Cambodia produced 48,778 tonnes of rubber, an increase of 11,753 tonnes compared to the same quarter in 2018.

The rubber was harvested in 201,519 hectares of land, with total rubber tree plantations in the Kingdom equalling 436,357 hectares, the report shows.

Most of the production (48,192 tonnes) was exported, an increase of 23 percent.

However, the average price the commodity fetches declined by 12 percent, reaching just $1,279 per tonne.

Pol Sopha, director general of the general directorate of rubber, said yesterday that the price drop in the international market presents an important challenge for the industry, but added that “farmers and small producers are okay with the current price.”

Vietnam is Cambodia’s biggest rubber market, although the Kingdom also exports to Malaysia.

In January, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that is working on a proposal to reduce taxes on rubber exports in a bid to attract more investors to the sector.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.