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China’s mixed rubber policy to affect Thai, Vietnamese imports

China’s new policy on mixed rubber imports will affect 50% of such imports from Thailand and all such imports from Vietnam, an official from the nation’s natural rubber association said on Wednesday.

China’s General Administration of Customs is believed to have stepped up inspections of mixed rubber, or natural rubber that is improved through addition of chemicals, to ensure importers are not mislabeling shipments as mixed rubber to take advantage of a lower tariff rate on the substance.

As a result, rubber prices have climbed.

The association has suggested the government set a new technology standard for mixed rubber imports to facilitate shipments, Zheng Wenrong, vice president of China’s Natural Rubber Association, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

The potential curbs on imports came after some plantations in China’s top rubber producing region suspended tapping due to drought and soaring temperatures.

The drought in Yunnan province is expected to affect 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of rubber production in total, Zheng told Reuters.

China is one of the world’s top natural rubber producers, churning out about 800,000 tonnes of the material every year.

Over half that comes from Yunnan province.

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