Rubber exports bring zero profit

Ngoc Hung

Vietnamese enterprises spend VND42 million making a ton of rubber at the moment, so they would earn almost nothing if they export rubber at a lower price, according to an executive of the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG).

That export price is VND20 million lower than VRG forecast at a meeting earlier this year on 2012 business review and 2013 projections.

Rubber prices have been in the downward spiral since the start of the year. The selling price offered by VRG averaged out at VND59.7 million a ton in the first six months of the year, shrinking VND11 million year-on-year.

The group achieved total sales of VND5.44 trillion in the period, 64.5% of the figure recorded in the same period last year.

Despite the natural rubber price falls, VRG said it would continue to expand rubber farming areas in the country’s north and the neighboring nations of Laos and Cambodia as earlier planned. The firm ascribed its determination to the fact that developing this industrial tree is part of its long-term strategy.

January-June rubber exports totaled 383,000 tons worth US$976 million, dipping 5% in volume and 19.2% in value over the year-ago period, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reports. China remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese rubber, accounting for 46% of the country’s total rubber export value, followed by Malaysia with nearly 19%.