|Viet Nam has rapidly expanded its areas of rubber production|
The 2006 Rubber Conference of ASEAN, organised on June 10 by the Viet Nam Rubber Association (VRA) and NextVIEW Group of Singapore, studied the sector's opportunities and challenges through data and analysis by international organisations, rubber producers and consumers.
Speaking at the event, VRA Chairman Le Quang Trung said that in the recent past, the demand for natural and synthetic rubber has been on the rise along with the improvement of living conditions in the world, and particularly in China. As demand has exceeded supply, the price of natural rubber has been rising at an unprecedented high rate over the past years.
Viet Nam has rapidly expanded its areas of rubber production to nearly 500,000 ha, 10 times over 1980, with an average yield of 1.5 tonnes per ha, double the yield in 1990. The country exported 587,000 tonnes of rubber, earning 804 million USD in 2005, and becoming the fourth largest rubber exporter in the world.
Last year, one tonne of Vietnamese rubber was sold for 1,400 USD, which increased to 1,600 USD in the first five months of this year. The Vietnamese rubber industry plans to produce 700,000 tonnes in 2010 and 1 million tonnes in 2020.