The value of rubber exports has risen sharply this year, earning the country US$479 million in the first five months, up 85.5 per cent over the same period in 2009, according to the General Statistics Office.
However, rubber exports decreased from $94 million in April to just $60 million in May as volumes dropped from 32,000 tonnes to just 20,000 tonnes.
The Viet Nam Rubber Association (VNRA) attributed May’s reduction to a decrease in exports to China, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of the country’s total rubber exports.
The VNRA attributed the price rise in January-May to hikes in the world market. However, the export volume in the first five months of the year actually dropped 4.4 per cent against the same period in 2009, reaching just 176,000 tonnes.
The VNRA said the rubber export price had risen by $400 a tonne since early December 2009 and was predicted to remain high in the second quarter of this year.
The world price of natural rubber is projected to exceed $3,000 a tonne due to a reduction in supply and the rebound of the world economy, which is expected to lead to a sharp increase in demand.
Rubber is grown on 160,000ha in Viet Nam. The country’s annual output is about 300,000 tonnes. Viet Nam plans to extend the growing area to 520,000ha by 2020.
The export value of latex products, particularly tyres, in the first five months reached almost $638 million, double that of the same period last year.
According to the VNRA, tyres account for 83 per cent of the country’s latex-products.
Tyres for trucks account for 63 per cent of that figure; motorbikes, 20 per cent, while bicycle tyres make up the rest.
Domestic producers consider the US to be a major potential export market.
Despite the large volume of truck tyres exported, the domestic market still imports international brands such as Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear.