Vietnam to reserve 66,000 tons of latex this year

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Vietnam Rubber Group plans to set aside some 66,000 tons of latex this year as a commitment to the World Rubber Association, which wants to regulate rubber prices by maintaining reserves.

The state-owned group's general director Tran Ngoc Thuan announced the plan on Monday after returning from the International Rubber Conference 2010 held in Singapore last weekend.

The planned reserve accounted for 22 percent of last year's output, Thuan said..

He said rubber prices in the world market would remain high this year, over US$3,000 per ton, due to decreasing supply and surging demand as a result of the economic recovery.

"Currently rubber is sold at nearly VND50 million ($2,630) a ton locally, and the price will increase to VND60 million per ton in the future," he said.

Vietnam is the world's third largest latex exporter with an annual output of some 300,000 tons. It currently has 160,000 hectares under latex production.

With Vietnam Rubber Group targeting control of 520,000 hectares of land for production by 2020, it plans to invest in a total of 100,000 hectares in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar within the next two years.

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