01 October 1999
Thai withdrawal ends rubber pact

THE International Rubber Agreement will finish later this month.

The International Natural Rubber Organisation (Inro) said it had failed to persuade Thailand, the worlds largest rubber producer, to stay in the 20-year-old organisation.

Malaysia, the third largest producer, and Sri Lanka are also leaving.

Inros 21-member council said it would end the agreement under which it operates a buffer stock aimed at promoting price stability, from 13 October.

The disposal of Inros existing buffer stock of about 140,000 tonnes of rubber will be decided at a special session of the Inro council on 13 December.

The groups rules allow for it to be run down over three years.

The commodities pact broke down because some of the key players wanted the organisation to set prices, rather than seek stability around existing market trends.

Rubber prices hit a 30-year low earlier this year.