ERJ staff report (TP)
Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian rubber industry is expected to remain resilient this year bolstered by higher export earnings of rubber products and stronger global demand for rubber gloves, reported Bernama.
Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers' Association President Datuk Dr Ong Eng Long said there will be price increases in the next coming months amid the current dry spell.
On the sector's sustainability, Ong said the industry needs to exploit high yield and suitable clones to reach yield of 1.8 tonnes per hectare a year and plant more densely to reach 550 stands (trees) per hectare.
"We need to ensure that the output of high-yielding clones are suitable for the downstream segment to use them in replanting and new planting by 2015," he said.
Ong also said he expects the Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR) and latex product revenue to grow by seven percent over the next 10 years by increasing latex concentrate production to reach 300,000 tonnes per year by 2020.
It was reported earlier that rubber products would continue to be the main contributor to the industry in terms of export earnings and it was expected to hit RM40.5bn (€8.95bn) this year compared to last year's projection at RM38bn (€8.4bn).
As for the rubber products sector, about 25 percent of Malaysia's total exports went to the United States while the same percentage went to the European Union countries, mostly to Germany and the United Kingdom.
He also expressed concern that most of the issues and challenges faced by the dry rubber products sector are still unresolved.
"Better emphasis and proper push under the Economic Transformation Programme should boost the downstream rubber sector hence contributing to the aspiration of Malaysia to enjoy a high-income economy in 2020," he said.
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Full story from Bernama