Thai rubber cooperatives cry for help

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BANGKOK, Aug 2 – The Thai government should adopt a policy of reducing rubber production and compensate planters for the lost revenue in an attempt to salvage declining rubber prices, a leading rubber planter said today.

Perk Lertwangpong, president of the Rubber Planter Cooperatives of Thailand, said cooperatives nationwide have been asking for government price support for rubber for nearly two years and proposed the reduced production of rubber by 500,000-1,000,000 tonnes a year.

The government should not be in a hurry to sell over 200,000 tonnes or rubber in its stock but rather sell it to private tyre manufacturing factories or mix the rubber with asphalt for road construction, he said.

In Phatthalung, one of the major rubber producing provinces, planters have processed rubber milk–latex–as sheets which gives them Bt3-5 higher per kilogramme.

Niran Theprat, chief of the Rubber Education Centre in Phatthalung, said rubber sheet can be kept and sold when the market prices are higher.