The government will push for the rubber price to rise beyond 80 baht per kilogramme by February and hopes to stabilise the price, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said in Tuesday.
Mr Suthep said he was not trying to send rubber prices into a spin, only to point out the government's target so that planters and traders would not rush to in advance at a low price and generate a problem of rubber surplus.
At present, the demand and supply of rubber were at about the same level. However, there was a trend for demand to rise along with the price of crude oil.
The government would prepare measures to cope with this trend and believed everything would be in place before the end of February next year, said the deputy prime minister.
Mr Suthep said the government had set aside eight billion baht for rubber planters and so the Office of the Rubber Planting Aid Fund could hold a stockpile of up to 2,000 tonnes to stabilise the price.
The private sector would do likewise, he added.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Supachai Phosu said the Office of the Rubber Planting Aid Fund had been assigned plan the expansion of rubber plantations in the North and Northeast regions by one to two million rai.
He did not believe this would cause the rubber price to drop, because there would be higher demand for rubber in the future.
Today's price of rubber at Hat Yai market ranged from 71.85 baht to 74.05 baht per kilogramme. The price was likely to go up to 80 baht per kilogramme by the end of October, Mr Supachai said.
PM's Office Minister Veerachai Veeramethikul said the government was negotiating with major rubber importers including Japan and China. China, in particular, was likely to import more rubber since it had set a target to become the world's largest automobile maker, he said.
Source: Bangkok Post, 13 Oct 09