|A rubber production line at the 175 Company in the Central Highlands. The Finance Ministry has collected ideas to cut the rubber export tax from the current 1 per cent to zero to resolve business difficulties. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Finance is considering scrapping the rubber export tax, with an aim to remove difficulties for companies amid falling latex prices and declining exports.
According to the Viet Nam Rubber Association, the ministry issued a document on Tuesday to invite opinions about cutting the rubber export tax to zero from the current 1 per cent (applied on products coded HS 4001, 4002 and 4005) in response to the association's petition.
The rubber industry has been facing difficulties during the past few years due to oversupply in the global market and plummeting international prices, which hit the local farmers and companies hard.
Farmers in the central and south-eastern provinces have reportedly cut down more rubber trees due to a significant fall in the natural rubber price. The price for a kilo of natural rubber latex decreased by half over last year's price to roughly VND15,000 or US$0.7.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first six months of this year, about 337,000 tonnes of rubber were shipped abroad, worth $644 million, 12 per cent lower year over year.
The Vietnamese rubber prices declined between 2012 and June 2014 due to oversupply in the world market, according to thitruongcaosu.net website.
The average rubber export prices in the first five months of this year fell by 29 per cent year over year to $1,842 per tonne, 60 per cent lower than the peak price in February 2011.
In the world market, rubber prices reportedly hit low levels in recent months over concerns of muted demand, oversupply and declining prices.
The Wall Street Journal, in an article published in May, reported that Thailand, the world's largest natural rubber producer, would start unloading its huge rubber stockpile estimated at 220,000 tonnes, leading to pressure on rubber prices.
The article also said that the stockpiles in major rubber consumers like China and Japan were also at high levels. — VNS