Indonesia to propose rubber export restriction in upcoming producers meeting

A worker collects latex at a rubber plantation near Bogor, southwest of Jakarta in West Java province. (Reuters pic)

JAKARTA: Indonesia will propose implementation of the Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS) in a meeting of the top three rubber-producing countries, a senior trade ministry official told reporters on Friday.

The International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, will meet in Bangkok on Feb 21-22 to discuss ways to prop up prices for natural rubber.

Iman Pambagyo, senior official at Indonesia’s Trade Ministry, told reporters that AETS implementation and expansion of rubber usage in construction would be the top proposals Jakarta would bring to the ministerial level meeting.

In late 2017, the ITRC agreed to cut natural rubber exports by up to 350,000 tonnes for three months to March last year, the fifth time the group had launched an export restriction scheme.

Global rubber prices have been under pressure for several years due to high global output and slowing Chinese demand, although Indonesian officials have blamed speculators for the volatile prices.

Indonesia, the world’s second-largest natural rubber producer, has also said it will launch a rubber road programme this year to help boost local demand.