Vietnam joins top natural rubber producers group

H2rubberEnggartiasto Lukita, Indonesian minister of trade; Chatchai Sarikulya, Thai minister of Agriculture; and Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Malaysia's minister of plantation industries and commodities. (Image source: Rubber News)Vietnam, currently the world's third-largest producer of natural rubber after Thailand and Indonesia, is to join the International Tripartite Rubber Council

Current members of the ITRC, Thailand, Malaysia and, Indonesia held a ministerial meeting in Bangkok on 15 September where they agreed the move. 

Vietnam previously agreed to join the ITRC in 2015 to help stabilise NR prices and develop sustainable production.

With Vietnam on board, the council will produce up to 80 per cent of the world's natural rubber consumption—up from around 70 per cent previously. 

Also discussed during the meeting was the future direction of ITRC Regional Rubber Market as a platform for better price discovery for both dry and wet rubber. The release outlined that the RRM will be developed as a futures market. 

"To complement and support the operation of RRM, the member countries will establish IRCo Arbitration Centre," ITRC said without giving further details.

The ministers also took note that the NR prices in the second quarter of 2017 were out of step with market fundamentals.

The council added that the prices were not reflective of the strong demand and reduction in supply contributed by erratic weather patterns and smallholders switching to other crops or other economic activities.

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