08 September 1998
Commodities
  • Rubber producers meet to discuss new system

    RUBBER-PRODUCING countries are meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week to thrash out a new system of support for world prices. Prices have fallen 30% in the past year.

    The talks are organised by the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). They are taking place amid signs that producers have lost confidence with the International Natural Rubber Organisation (Inro).

    Thailand and Malaysia, two of the worlds largest rubber producers, say they want to withdraw from Inro over its price support policy.

    The ANRPC, whose members account for 80% of world production, proposes replacing Inro with a new international agreement. Its plans include a withholding scheme to limit output, a marketing system to keep supply below demand, and a private sector-led consortium to stockpile rubber during periods of oversupply.

    Inro has called for M$150m (£23.7m) from members to fund a fresh round of buying to support prices. Traders are sceptical that the organisation can secure the funds.