Rai Maraoh – According to Mon state rubber traders, the price of rubber was in good condition last week and is expected to increase later in the season.“During this week, rubber price declined. According to rubber collectors to whom we sell rubber, the prices tend to be higher later,” said Nai Kyaw, a rubber traders in Mudon Township of Mon state.
Since November 2011, rubber prices have been declining in Mon state, with the price of one pound of this rubber sheet declining by up to 900 kyats. However, the price has increased to 1,300 kyats during the second week of January, according to Nai Kyaw.
In the past, when the price of rubber has been considered good, one pound of rubber has been known to fetch 1,800 kyats in regions of Mon state.“This time is the time for rubber plants to drop their leaves and the time when tapping rubber has been stopped, so the price become high. The current price is not so bad, but some (rubber traders) haven’t sold (their rubber) yet. They are waiting for better prices,” said Mi Shwe, a rubber plantation owner in Young Doung village in Mudon Township.
Most rubber plantation owners usually store their rubber during the period of falling rubber prices and begin to sell their rubber when the prices are more competitive.
“One of the facts that makes rubber price high is excessive foreign demand. Now that the giant rubber collectors are competitively purchasing rubber, so the rubber price becomes high,” said a rubber trader of Thanphyuzayart.
In the communities of Mudon, Thanphyuzayart, Bee-Linn, Kayik-Hto, Kyaik-Mayaw and Ye, all Townships of Mon state, the cultivated rubber is known as ‘black gold’, and is the main business for locals to support their livelihoods.
Approximately 37% of all cultivated rubber in Burma is produced in the plantations of Mon state. Before 1988, there were 76,607 rubber-cultivated acres. This has since multiplied five-fold, and in the period of 2009-2010 there was a reported 423,692 acres in Mon state dedicated to rubber cultivation, according to figures provided by New Light of Myanmar.
Rubber that is produced in Mon state is generally collected by local business and sent via collectors to various region of Burma, especially those of Rangoon and Mandalay, where it is set for export.