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Thailand to boost domestic uses of low-priced rubber (22-10-2015)

 

BANGKOK, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thailand will substantially increase consumption of rubber within the country, said Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday.   

Gen Prayut, who made his comments following talk with rubber planters, mostly from southern provinces, and representatives from the rubber processing industry, vowed to see to it that domestic consumption of rubber will rise in a substantial, consistent fashion so that the lowered prices of rubber will finally rebound.

However, the premier commented that the authorities cannot subsidize any rubber planters who had claimed to be operating at loss, because government subsidy would otherwise violate the World Trade Organization`s rules.

His latest response to chronic complaints from the rubber planters apparently dampened their hopes for a sought-after increase in the domestic rubber prices.

The Thai rubber is selling at about 1.1 U.S. dollars per kilogram in domestic markets, compared to the average producing cost which currently amounts to 1.8 U.S. dollars per kilogram, according to rubber planters` leaders.

The premier said he will see to it that the authorities, especially the Highway Department, will use much more rubber in the construction of roads throughout the country while the tire manufacturing industry will be given a major promotion to the extent that it will rely more on raw rubber in foreseeable future than now.

"The so-called Rubber City will be built where domestic consumption of rubber the by rubber processing industry, especially the tire manufacturers, will materialize and expand," Gen Prayut said.

Meanwhile, the government will help rubber planters by having their producing costs lowered while the selling prices for their rubber are yet to rise, he said.

He did not elaborate as to how the government will lower the rubber planters` costs, however.

Suntorn Rakrong, a leader of the southern rubber planters who had met with Gen Prayut, said his colleagues had pledged to "no longer upset" the government with sustained demands for a rubber price increase and will instead wait to see the government take steps to bring down their producing costs.

Thailand has produced an estimated four million tons of rubber in a year, only about ten percent of which was reported to have been used within the country.

Thailand has exported 56 percent of its annual rubber volume to China.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=306144

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