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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rubber price hike possible this year, says DTI-9 chief

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – Rubber price may have been in constant debacle for the past months, but Regional Director Sitti Amina M. Jain of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-9 said its buying price might increase by the end of the semester this year.

“During a seminar I attended in Singapore last year, it was projected by one of the speakers that by the end of the semester this year, the price of rubber will start to pick up,” told Jain.

However, Jain emphasized that if there would no changes in the price, rubber farmers should not consider cutting down their rubber trees.

“It will not be a wise move if they cut down their rubber trees. Instead, we advise that they embark on intercropping,” said Jain.

She said the farmers could either grow Cacao trees or pineapple, which are considered fast crops. “A sure yield can be expected from fast crops in a short period of time,” she pointed out.

“They can always intercrop cacao. Five years from now, we are expecting a deficit of 1 up to 2 million metric tons of cacao worldwide, so there is a big opportunity for cacao,” explained Jain.

According to Jain, the trend of the price of rubber, even before, has always been fluctuating. “There is always the rise and fall in the price of rubber because it is dependent on the economic growth of our major markets,” she said.

She furthered that if only China, as the major consumer of natural rubber, was able to sustain their manufacturing growth, then the price of rubber should have been high.

“Thirty five percent of our rubber is bought by China. And the worldwide demand or market of rubber goes to China. So, even if there is only a slight movement of China’s market to rubber, it will automatically affect its demand,” the DTI-9 chief added.

Jain said the major factors affecting the price of rubber includes oil price, the fluctuating foreign exchange and the slow growth of the major markets in terms of manufacturing.