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Thai rubber production to drop 30 percent lower this year: minister

Thai Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on Thursday told media that this year's rubber production would drop by at least 30 percent due to labour shortage and drought, which had caused rubber trees to die before yielding latex, especially in the northeastern region.

To tackle the low rubber price issue, the ministry needs to push existing products for domestic use as much as possible, he added.

Besides using rubber for road construction, the agriculture ministry will collaborate with other agencies to find ways to utilise rubber as a raw material in other projects such as playground safety tiles, traffic cones, road barriers, and multi-purpose floor mats, he said.

Chalermchai also said that the agricultural ministry's current subsidy measure for rubber farmers is only a short-term remedy.

He said he would discuss the problem of plummeting rubber price and find suitable solutions with the Rubber Authority of Thailand.

"The Agriculture Ministry will survey the market's rubber demand against available domestic stock to set a suitable price for rubber in the third and fourth quarters," Chalermchai said, "we will also discuss with private entrepreneurs, rubber exporters and processors to formulate solutions to the rubber price problem." Enditem