1. The Board of Directors (BoD) of the International Rubber Consortium (IRCo) consisting of representatives from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia (TIM) met on 16 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
2. The Meeting was updated on the performance of implementing the 6th Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS) by ITRC Member Countries. TIM confirmed their commitment in completing the implementation of the 6th AETS as an effort to improve the well-being of smallholders through the improvement of natural rubber (NR) prices. IRCo as the Secretariat of the Monitoring and Surveillance Committee confirmed that TIM complied and are fully committed with the respective export cutback under the 6th AETS implementation.
3. The Meeting deliberated the current global NR market situation and analysed relevant NR market fundamentals. One of the main issues discussed was the impact of Pestalotiopsis Disease (fungal disease) on rubber plantations in TIM especially in Indonesia and Peninsular Malaysia. While Southern Thailand is currently on alert situation on the possibility of the disease. The Meeting is of the view that such unfavourable condition is due to lack of good agricultural practices implemented by farmers resulting from the prolonged low and unremunerative rubber prices.
4. Indonesian Government had made an announcement on 24 July 2019 that there will be at least 15% reduction of Indonesia’s production in 2019. To date, 382,000 hectares of NR plantation have been affected by the disease. In addition to that, the production in Thailand for 2019 was also expected to decrease due to tapper shortage contributed by unremunerative price level and erratic weather as announced by Thai Government on 9 August 2019. The Meeting also noted that the production of Malaysia would be low due to the unattractive rubber prices.
5. In view of prolonged trade tensions between US-China that would affect the global demand of NR, ITRC Member Countries have intensified efforts to increase the domestic consumption of rubber in infrastructure projects such as rubberised road, seismic and bridge bearings. NR is also used in other products such as dock fenders, playground safety tiles, traffic cones, road banners, fiber mats, etc.
Monday, 19 August 2019