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Rubber to be used for roadworks (27-02-2015)


Rubber to be used for roadworks   


Farmers sell their rubber sheets at a market in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

(Bangkok Post file photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Departments of Rural Roads and Highways to incorporate rubber into the construction and repair of roads to be carried out under a loan project. 

Gen Prayut  issued the instruction at a meeting of the cabinet`s economic ministers on Wenesday, a source at the meeting said.

The prime minister wanted rubber to be included as a raw material for road and repair projects under a 40-billion-baht loan project -- 25 billion baht for the Department of Highways and 15 billion baht for the Department of Rural Roads.

The two departments are expected to use about 30,000 tonnes of rubber, said the source.

Deputy Agriculture and Co-operatives Minister Amnuay Patisae confirmed on Thursday that new measures had been decided on to deal with the expected rubber output in the 2015/2016 harvest season, and would be announced on May 15.

They would help promote rubber processing, adding value to the output, said Mr Annuay. He felt confidence rubber growers could expect prices of at least 65-75 baht per kilogramme.

With the current rubber-tapping season coming to a close, the country`s rubber supply to the market will gradually drop. he said. Supplies from the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) group are  also expected to taper off, he said.

There is time for the private sector to deliver their rubber sheets. This will lead to the purchase of rubber by private firms, the deputy minister said.

Earlier, the private sector had promised to buy rubber. However, there had not been any progress. As all firms were due to deliver rubber, they were likely to purchase rubber products soon, he said.

The government had earlier planned to spend some two billion baht to buy latex and rubber cup lumps from small-scale rubber growers under the rubber buffer fund, to shore up prices. Prices of latex and rubber cup lumps had since gradually increased from 35 baht to 47 baht a kilogramme, said Mr Amnuay.  However, the cabinet, at a meeting during the Chinese New year, had still approved the budget for the purchases.

He said it may not be necessary to use the fund now that latex and cup lump prices had risen on the open market. Another four billion baht earmarked for the rubber buffer fund would be used to purchase raw and smoked rubber sheets as planned, he said.




(source in Eximbank)
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