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Local rubber exports surge

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:

Rubber production in Cambodia rose by 23 percent in the first nine months of the year, according to the latest official report.

The average price of the commodity during that period, however, saw a 2 percent drop, selling for around $1,335 per tonne, the General Directorate of Rubber said in a report.

From January to September, the Kingdom produced 173,072 tonnes of rubber, generating roughly $230 million. All production was shipped abroad.

This contrasts with the situation in other producing nations in the region, where a disease has affected production. In Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, plantations have been attacked by pestalotiopsis, a type of fungus. As a result, their exports are expected to decline this year.

Pol Sopha, director-general of the General Directorate of Rubber, told Khmer Times yesterday that Cambodia has so far not been hit by the disease but that the government is nonetheless preparing in case of an outbreak here.

“There are no signs that the disease has entered Cambodia but we are taking the possibility of an outbreak here seriously and closely monitoring the situation,” he said.

“In a meeting with regional rubber producers in Myanmar early this month, we discussed ways of preventing the disease.”

He said Indonesia was the first country hit by the fungus, followed by Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In August, the International Rubber Consortium reported that 382,000 hectares of natural rubber plantations have been affected by the disease worldwide.

Krissada Sangsing, director of the Rubber Authority of Thailand, said the pestalotiopsis threatens to cut output in the affected areas in the country by up to 50 percent. As of Sunday last week, the disease had damage around 16,000 hectares in that country.


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