Rubber exports set for large increase in Luang Namtha
Luang Namtha province expects a large increase in their rubber exports for 2017, with more than 11,131 tonnes of rubber exported in the first six months.
Luang Namtha has a total of 33,944 hectares of rubber trees, with more than 7,000 hectares of the trees already tapped.
Rubber has become a main export product of the province and in 2016 Luang Namtha exported 20,199 tonnes of rubber valued at more than US$19.7 million.
In the first six months of 2017 the province exported 11,131 tonnes of rubber worth more than US$17 million and exports are projected to increase by the end of this year with the on set of the rubber tapping season.
In 2016, total exports from Luang Namtha reached US$45.5 million, with rubber exports of US$19.1 million, accounting for 40 percent.
The Yunnan Rubber Investment Company alone purchased over 1,896 tonnes of rubber worth more than US$18.3 million, reported Mr Somphone Sipaseuth, a official from the provincial Industry and Commerce Department.
In the first six months of 2017 total exports reached US$36,1 million, with rubber accounting for US$17.8 million.
The Yunnan Rubber Investment Company alone purchased 9,173 tonnes of rubber valued at US$7.3 million, he added.
The company already has a rubber processing factory in the province with a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year, but rubber tapping and plantations have steadily increased so the company has decided to build one more processing plant with a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes.
In combination these factories have a production capacity of 40,000 tonnes.
“From January to May this year, the company has already exported more than 9,000 tonnes of rubber and we expect to produce and export about 30,000 tonnes in 2017,” Deputy Director of Yunnan Rubber Investment Company Ms Manila told local media.
There haven’t been widespread reports of farmers cutting down their rubber trees in Luang Namtha province because of poor rubber prices compared to past years.
Rubber plantation companies did not cut down any of their trees which was confined to small farmers who grew other commercial crops instead.
Some 349 hectares of rubber trees were replanted with bananas and watermelons, according to the relevant sector in the province.