Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's biggest rubber producers, will hold fresh talk next week to bolster rubber price in the world market.
Thai Agriculture Minister Pitipong Puengboon na Ayudhya will meet with his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to reach some agreement on the rubber price, which has plummeted due to enormous export volume, said a Thai government official over the weekend.
Despite earlier agreements reached between the world's biggest rubber exporters, they had practically vied against each other by undercutting the rubber prices over the last few years.
The three Southeast Asian states have altogether contributed up to 70 percent of all rubber products traded in the world market.
According to the official with the Ministry of Agriculture & Agricultural Cooperatives, representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will join in the meeting on rubber prices in the Malaysian capital.
Rubber production by the Indochinese states cannot be quantitatively compared to the three producing giants, which yield a combined volume of more than 7 million tons in a year. Thailand has ranked top of the world's rubber producers with about 3.3 million tons in a year.
While the rubber price is currently selling for as low as 1.5 U. S. dollars a kg in the Thai domestic market, the average price in the world market might possibly be increased in a range of 2.1 to 2.4 U.S. dollars, he said.
"The rubber price in the world market might begin to rise as early as the upcoming January and continue to go up throughout next year only if the world's major rubber producers agreed to work in harmony and boost it up for mutual gains.
"It should be increased up to 2.4 dollars a kg by the end of next year," said the Thai official, who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
It remains to be seen whether and how the so-called International Tripartie Rubber Council, a body jointly set up by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, will eventually manage to set a common selling price for their respective rubber, given the fact that earlier efforts for this end had largely fizzled out.
The rubber council had earlier resolved to cut the annual rubber output of each member state by 300,000 tons.
Meanwhile, the Thai government has already begun to cut rubber production throughout the country in bid to reduce yearly export volumes.
The measure was expected to affect some 850,000 families of rubber planters in various regions of the country who will be entitled to 30.3 U.S. dollars in cash compensation for every 0.4 acre of their plantation.
Nevertheless, rubber planters in southern Thailand had expressed strong dissent to the government's rubber reducing plans and demanded that the government pay more money as compensation.
Despite martial law enforced throughout the country, the southern rubber planters had vowed to gather in massive protest of the government's apparent failures to prop up rubber prices.