A rubber plantation in Bình Phước Province. Việt Nam’s rubber exports increased marginally in the first five months of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — Việt Nam earned US$662 million from rubber exports in the first five months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 2.4 per cent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
China, India and South Korea were three biggest buyers, it said.
Exports to these markets all increased sharply in the first four months with exports to India enjoying the highest rise of 29 per cent.
Overall exports in the first four months went up 13.7 per cent to $556.9 million.
But they plunged in May to just $105 million.
China is by far the biggest importer of Việt Nam’s natural rubber, accounting for some 60 per cent of volume, most of it used to produce tyres, analysts said.
Therefore, the US’s imposition of high taxes on automotive components imported from China has impacted Việt Nam's rubber exports to China, they said.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged rubber producers and exporters to diversify their products and look for other export markets to reduce the reliance on China.
They should focus on the Indian market, whose tyre industry has developed rapidly but lacks local rubber supply, it said.
Trần Ngọc Thuận, chairman of the Việt Nam Rubber Group JSC, called for favourable Government policies for businesses in agriculture and rubber.
The country has one million hectares under rubber.
Việt Nam is the third biggest natural rubber exporter, shipping over 1.5 million tonnes annually to more than 70 countries and territories.
Last year, exports fetched $2.1 billion, a 6.6 per cent decline from 2017. — VNS