Bali, Indonesia - The ASEAN Rubber Business Council (ARBC) has expressed concerns over the current low prices of natural rubber, the international body announced in a press release.
The ARBC discussed the low prices at meeting in Bali on 29 Aug, where all member states supported initiatives proposed and undertaken by governments of the region to tackle the problem.
ARBC comprises the rubber trade associations of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia which account for around 76 percent of the world's total natural rubber production.
According to ARBC, among the reasons behind the decline are slowing demand, in particular, from China; continued economic uncertainties prevailing in the Eurozone and other parts of the world as well as plunging crude oil prices.
The council also warned that if the low rubber prices continued, smallholders were likely to abandon their rubber holdings for other more lucrative crops, causing a disruption in supply.
“The Council hopes that the consumers of natural rubber understand the difficulties the smallholders are going through and will render all necessary support to them,” it added.