Rubber exports bounce past $265M in first nine months

Cambodia exported 174,100 tonnes of rubber valued at $265.8 million in the first nine months of 2021, surging by 48,300 tonnes (38.4 per cent) in volume and $111.6 million (72.3 per cent) in value over January-September 2020, the General Department of Customs and Excise reported.

Sales of Cambodian rubber to international markets have notched up a robust pace of growth even as the Kingdom grapples with the far-reaching fallout of the Covid-19 crisis.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director-general for Rubber Him Oun told The Post on October 27 that rubber exports were buoyed by firmer demand from global markets, even as the world contends with the ebbs and flows of the Covid-19 tides.

He highlighted that some countries are reopening and allowing rubber imports, citing China as a predominant example, which he said would be able to absorb a significant volume of the commodity as the industrial sector bounces back.

“The rubber is being shipped out to foreign markets for use in health, industry and other sectors,” he said.

Oun explained that the Cambodian rubber sector has enjoyed a boom over the last two or three years, in terms of investment and exports, and prices have remained high compared to other crops.

More investors and farmers have delved into the world of rubber in recent years, he said, noting that the prices and cultivation area of the commodity have avoided falling into negative territory, offering a relative bright spot compared to other crops that have been dogged by a constant barrage of issues.

Referring to the Cambodia Standard Rubber (CSR) quality certification, Oun said CSR L and the slightly lower-grade CSR5 are currently selling for $1,850 and $1,750 per tonne on the international market.

Men Sopheak, CEO of rubber grower and exporter Sopheak Nika Investment Agro-Industrial Plants Co Ltd, pointed out that crop yields have logged solid increases from year to year.

He said that most rubber exports are shipped to China, India, Malaysia, South Korea and other countries through Vietnam.

However, no new larger-scale investors have decided to enter the Cambodian rubber scene during Covid, he lamented, pointing out that this year’s exports by and large originated from existing plantations.

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