PUTRAJAYA, July 17 – Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are considering cutting rubber output by 15 per cent to curb falling prices, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
He said the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), comprising Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, would meet in Bangkok on Sept 15 to discuss measures to stabilise rubber prices.
Citing example, he said the SMR 20 rubber price in Malaysia dropped from RM957.23 per kilogramme (kg) in January to RM626.65 per kg in July this year.
“The fluctuation of rubber prices was due to declining demand for the commodity, especially from China, the world’s largest rubber consumer. Therefore, we need to control the supply.
“During the ITRC meeting, we will discuss on the Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme to stabilise the rubber prices.
“I think we can reduce the rubber production from 10 to 15 per cent from the three countries from the current production,” he told a press conference at an Aidilfitri open house hosted by his ministry here today.
Mah said a draft memorandum on rubberised road between Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand would be prepared at the meeting in an effort to increase demand and usage of rubber.
“The three countries will increase the use of rubber in their respective countries. The cost of rubberised road is slightly higher in the beginning. However, it lasts longer and in long term, its maintenance is cheaper
“We will have an agreement on how to increase the use of rubberised road, especially in the three countries during the meeting,” he said.
Rubberised road is a mixture of scrap rubber and bitumen, which is more durable.
Over the past two years, the Malaysian Rubber Board and Public Works Department have conducted a joint study to determine the effectiveness of using Cuplump Modified Asphalt for road construction or resurfacing works.
“We need to look after the interests of 450,000 rubber smallholders and ensure that rubber prices remain stable,” he said.