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Southern Rubber Growers Reduce Supply by 25% to Stabilize Prices

Text: In response to steadily declining rubber prices for two months, rubber growers from southern provinces in Thailand have agreed to cut their supply by at least 25%. To achieve this reduction, planters will reduce tapping to 15 days a month from 20 during the high season, according to Wit Pratuckchai, director-general of the Office of the Rubber Replanting Aid Fund. This decision is part of several measures aimed at supporting para rubber prices, which have dropped to 81-85 baht per kilogram for unsmoked rubber sheet, from 128-133 baht in September.

The fall in prices is attributed to the European economic crisis and the flooding in Thailand, which severely impacted automobile and auto-parts industries, major consumers of natural rubber. The International Rubber Consortium Company (IRCo), consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, will meet to discuss potential plans to slow down exports. Thailand is expected to propose maintaining export prices at not lower than $3 per kg for RSS3.

In the long term, a committee representing all parties in the rubber industry will be formed to manage state rubber stocks and develop measures to prevent price volatility. The Agriculture Ministry is considering the establishment of a 10-billion-baht intervention fund to purchase rubber from the market, supporting traders who agree to buy rubber from planters at prices not lower than 120 baht/kg for unsmoked rubber sheet.

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