Qingdao, China – Thailand’s natural rubber production totalled 4.75 million tonnes in 2020, down by 2% from 2019, said the Thai Rubber Association.
Its 2021 production is forecast to arrive at 4.85 million tonnes, close to the 2019 level, TRA’s deputy secretary general Supadetch Ongsakul said at the recent China Rubber Conference in Qingdao, Shandong.
Factors that could impact Thailand’s rubber exports this year include the pandemic, geopolitical tension as well as global container shortage, he said.
Last year, Thailand exported 3.8 million tonnes of NR, down by 4% from 2019. The value of exports in 2020 fell by 5% year-on-year, to $59 billion.
China was the destination for 62% of those exports in tonnage, followed by Malaysia with 11%, which included 400,000 tonnes latex, noted Ongsakul. Thai rubber exports to China has remained relatively stable over the past five years.
Thailand has announced a 20-year national plan for 2017-2036, which aims to raise the share of its domestic consumption from 14% of NR production in 2016 to 35% in 2036.
Average rubber yield in the country will increase from 1,400kg/hectare annually in 2016 to 2,250kg in 2036, while total rubber plantations will drop from 3.7 million to 2.9 million hectares.
Export of rubber-based products is expected to more than triple from $7,575 million to $24.242 million. Annual income per hectare will grow from $2,270 to $3,750.
The association has also rolled out measures to help achieve this goal, such as providing good-quality rubber trees to farmers for the replacement of old or damaged trees and those with less yield, said Ongsakul.