16 February 2000
Thai rubber to keep its bounce

THAILANDS rubber industry is forecasting a bullish performance this year on the back of rising world demand and constricted supply, according to the Thai commerce ministry.

The Thai Rubber Association says Thai rubber exports this year will reach 2.12 million tonnes, from about 1.94m tonnes in 1999.

Rubber exports are expected to be worth US$1.4bn this year.

Meanwhile, Malaysian rubber companies are being urged to join forces with Thailand counterparts and bid for the remaining stock of the International Natural Rubber Organisation (Inro).

The Malaysian government is calling for the initiative in an attempt to establish price stability.

Inro is to liquidate its natural rubber stock at a rate of 34,000t each quarter to 30 June 2001.

The Malaysian and Thai governments are concerned that the disposal might cause market instability.

They have already formed a joint effort to buy the rubber.