Cambodia generated more than $326 million from the export of rubber latex and wood in the first eight months of this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ General Directorate of Rubber.
From January-August, the Kingdom earned a total of $326,338,728.84 from the export of 194,525 tonnes of latex, up by eight per cent year-on-year by weight, and 4,379 cubic metres of wood from rubber trees, known scientifically as Hevea brasiliensis.
During the period, the average price of latex surged by $386 or 30 per cent year-on-year to $1,673, the directorate reported.
Directorate head Him Oun told The Post on September 28 that governments of rubber-producing countries have been gradually lifting coronavirus-relatedrestrictions to revive economies and take some pressure off of supply chains of natural latex, contributing to the rise in exports.
“Demand for rubber products is growing and large companies need to buy up to fill stockpiles, take Chinese firms for example,” he said, adding that the price of latex was above last year’s levels.
Total rubber cultivation in Cambodia is currently 404,160ha, of which 292,500ha or 72 per cent are mature trees that are tapped for latex, according to the ministry.
Oun pointed out that this year’s rubber harvest area has expanded by 21,819ha versus 2020. This, combined with the ministry figure, would mean an 8.061 per cent increase from 270,681ha.
Cambodia exports rubber latex and wood to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and India, as well as smaller quantities to the EU.
Oun went on to say that the directorate “will continue to strive to promote the production of rubber according to market demand … [and] put out daily prices for all farmers and rubber players, to make it more manageable for producers and traders to strike deals”.
Men Sopheak, CEO of rubber grower and exporter Sopheak Nika Investment Agro-Industrial Plants Co Ltd, stressed that fluctuations in international demand have immediate effects on Cambodian rubber prices, due to the market’s high degree of dependence on external forces.
He said the Cambodian market has historically been weak due to a lack of local processing.
“The current rise in rubber prices is due to the reopening of more factories and industries in emerging economies, especially China,” Sopheak said.