- The Senior Officials from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia under the framework of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) met on 27 June 2019 in Krabi, Thailand. The meeting discussed the current global natural rubber (NR) fundamentals under the schemes of ITRC namely the Supply Management Scheme (SMS), Demand Promotion Scheme (DPS) and Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS).
- Member Countries reiterated the importance of the AETS implementation as an effective instrument to address the transient stock imbalance from the global market. The meeting confirmed that the implementation in Member Countries are in order as all related domestic procedures and arrangements have been finalised and in placed. Member Countries pledged commitment in implementing the 6th AETS as planned and agreed by ITRC. The meeting is pleased with the compliance of export cutback in April and May 2019 under the 6th AETS implementation. This had and would contribute to improving the global rubber market and positively impact the wellbeing of rubber smallholders through the improvement of NR prices.
- The meeting also reviewed the prevailing NR fundamentals in particular the production from Member Countries and efforts to ensure a healthy supply of NR to meet its demand in the global market. In 2019, it is expected that NR production in ITRC Member Countries to reduce.
- ITRC Member Countries expected that the production will continue to be affected negatively due to the outbreak of Pestalotiopsis disease which has damaged rubber trees in many plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia and now has started to appear affecting rubber trees in Malaysia. Prevailing low NR prices has caused smallholders to reduce maintenance cost by neglecting good agricultural practice (GAP) and this contributes to the outbreak of Pestalotiopsis disease. Besides, the erratic weather conditions and low tapping activities due to the prolonged low prices will continue to affect NR production.
- The meeting emphasised the urgency of a timely solution to stop a further decline of NR production and the income of smallholders.
- In view of the severity of the disease impacting the potential production, a further assessment of the total area affected is still undertaken by Member Countries.
1 July 2019