As rubber is a potential export with a high economic potential, it has been included in a list of export preferences, and will be subject to quality inspections and certification, according to an official from the Ministry of Economics and Trade.
A lab has been built in Hlegu township in Yangon to test and control the quality of rubber and improve the methods of quality control and certification, U Win Myint, director of the Trade Development Department at the ministry, said.
“Myanmar rubber only fetches two-thirds of the price of rubber from other countries because we have no laboratories for quality inspections. Prices for Myanmar rubber is low in the international market also because of low quality.”
The Japanese Ministry of Trade and Economics has provided technical assistance to farmers, such as training in the proper use of fertilisers, with the hopes of bringing Myanmar’s rubber industry in line with international standards, allowing it to fetch a standard price.
“The industry cannot change overnight, we have to improve things step by step. Now, we have a system of quality certificates, making it harder for international buyers to reduce the price of our rubber,” U Khine Myint, secretary of Rubber Producers and Exporters Association, told Myanmar Business Today.
The current price of rubber on the international market is approximately $1,800 per tonne, while Myanmar rubber gets only between $1,300 and $1,500 per tonne. Myanmar officially exports 80,000 tonnes of rubber per year, of which China buys 70 percent, according to statistics from the association.