Vietnam's rubber exporters are likely to face further difficulties because of the low demand from major rubber importers, the Vietnam Rubber Association said on Tuesday. In 2013, Vietnam exported 1.078 million tons of rubber worth 2. 51 billion U.S. dollars, up 5 percent year-on-year in volume but down 12 percent on value, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. China and Malaysia remained major markets for Vietnam's natural rubbers in the past few years. In 2013, China consumed almost 45 percent of Vietnam's rubber export volume while Malaysia bought 21 percent, said the ministry. However, the two markets purchased less in the first two months of 2014, leading to a sharp decrease in the prices of Vietnam's natural rubber exports, according to the local Industry-Trade News under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The currently price of Vietnam's rubber exports stays at around 2,000 U.S. dollars per ton, 500-700 U.S. dollars lower than what the association has forecast for this year. In the domestic market, rubber prices in southern Vietnam provinces, the major rubber growing areas of the country, hover from 1,720-1,886 U.S. dollars per ton, down 56.8 U.S. dollars over the past eight weeks, said the association. Especially, the average export price of Vietnamese SVR 3L as of March 15 was 2,100 U.S. dollars per ton, down 28.93 percent year- on-year, said the association. Natural rubber price has gone down sharply since the beginning of 2014 due to high global stockpile. To boost the recovery of rubber price and prevent loss for producers, the association has urged local enterprises to reduce rubber output in 2014 and not to sell rubber at lower prices than world prices. In the first two months of 2014, Vietnam pocketed 215 million U. S. dollars from shipping 104,000 tons of rubber, down 43 percent in value and 25 percent in volume year-on-year, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. During the same period, China remained the largest importer of Vietnamese rubber, buying 41,657 tons worth 82.3 million U.S. dollars, which went down 40.2 percent in volume and 54.83 percent in value year-on-year, followed by Malaysia and India, said the association.