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But despite the production boom, the annual earnings of $2.85 billion were down 12.6 per cent on the previous year due to a drop in value.
Last year, the price of Vietnam’s natural rubber fell 33 per cent, due to reduced demand from China, its biggest consumer, and the increasing application of synthetic rubber over natural rubber.
Nevertheless, recent efforts mean Vietnam has become the third largest exporter of natural rubber in the world after Thailand and Indonesia.
The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) previously forecast that Vietnam would produce 955,000 tonnes of rubber in 2012, and in doing so would replace Malaysia as the world’s third biggest rubber producer.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of 2012, Vietnam had roughly 910,000ha of rubber trees, accounting for 7 per cent of the total global rubber area and surpassing the objective of 800,000ha in 2015.
The yield of Vietnamese rubber trees now stand at 1.7 tonnes per ha, which is also the third highest worldwide.
According to VRA’s General Director Tran Ngoc Thuan, the Government has approved plans on developing the rubber industry until 2015 with a vision to 2020.
Under the plan, the country will grow 800,000 hectares of rubber trees, which will provide 1.2 million tonnes of rubber latex per annum by 2015. Or this, 30 per cent will be used for the domestic processing industry and the rest exported.
Statistics from Vietnam General Department of Customs show the average rubber export price is $2,829 per tonne.
In 2012, Vietnam exported around 65,272 tonnes of rubber to India, worth $187.7 million and an increase of 112 per cent on 2011. The trend indicates a definite swing in Vietnamese export patterns from China to India.