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Top rubber producer Thailand hit by fungal disease outbreak

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Top rubber producer Thailand hit by fungal disease outbreak

Patpicha Tanakasempipat

 

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FILE PHOTO: Workers move baskets filled with rubber at the central rubber market in Nong Khai, Thailand, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A key rubber tree-growing area in Thailand has been hit by an outbreak of a fungal disease, which could halve the area’s output, the country’s rubber authority said on Monday.

 

Thailand is the world’s top producer and exporter of the natural rubber, accounting for up to 40% of global rubber supply.

 

The disease, called Pestalotiopsis, has spread into Thailand after hitting plantations in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia. The three countries account for around 70% of the world’s natural rubber production.

 

The Rubber Authority of Thailand said the disease, which causes leaves to turn yellow and spotted as it spreads, was recently found in three districts in Narathiwat, a key rubber growing province in southern Thailand.

 

Krissada Sangsing, director of the agency’s rubber research institute, said the disease threatens to cut output in the affected areas by up to 50%. The agency also told Reuters that damage was estimated to be around 100,000 rai (16,000 hectares) as of Sunday.

 

“We are committed to preventing this disease and containing it from spreading further,” Krissada said.

 

Older rubber trees are more vulnerable to the disease, which causes them to eventually lose 90% of their leaves and affects their ability to produce latex, he said.

 

Rubber farmers in the south were “very worried” about losing output amid falling rubber prices, said Uthai Sonlucksub, president of the Natural Rubber Council of Thailand.

 

“It spreads so fast. The trees are all bare and cannot be tapped at all,” Uthai told Reuters.

 

“Farmers in the affected districts are losing their income.”

 

The disease currently affects around 382,000 hectares of rubber plantations in Indonesia, especially parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan, according to the International Rubber Consortium (IRCo).

 

Indonesia already revised its natural rubber production this year due to the outbreak, expecting output to drop by 15%.

 

{Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Emelia Sihtole-Matarise

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-22

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I read the head line, and hope the "top rubber producer" was being treated alone with any of his partners for the fungal infection, poor love.

 

Then realised it was the rubber plantation, not the person owing it.

 

  • Haha 1

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24 minutes ago, Cadbury said:

Another crippling blow to Thailand's rubber industry and exports? These unexpected events just adding to an already weakening economy.

But don't worry the Baht will keep on rising... Ah the magical baht...

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Last week they said it was pythophera, aka rootrot.

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Time to put the rain making planes to use.

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Not to worry, the government will ask the banks to bail you out with some more easy to obtain loans

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The current price of rubber is depressed due to low demand and over production  and I am cynical enough to suggest that an interested party might have introduced a fungal disease to dramatically reduce latex output and push up prices. Now the government can review the proposal to subsidise growers.

 

........(thinks) What am I saying? (Note to self....'Go wash out your brain')

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It seems to me like rubber prices will rise and the producer should get more for his crop. 

Simple rule of “supply and demand”. 

The demand will not drop. 

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9 hours ago, webfact said:

Krissada Sangsing, director of the agency’s rubber research institute, said the disease threatens to cut output in the affected areas by up to 50%.

Maybe the good news is that the government can stop buying domestic rubber at above market prices as there will be a shortage in the global market supply when combined with the 15% loss from Indonesia.

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Intensive crops suffer the same issue of intensive farms.

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They should make the most of the overvalued Bht, nothings selling anyway , so fix the Trees before it’s realistic.


Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect

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3 hours ago, rhyddid said:

Intensive crops suffer the same issue of intensive farms.

Mono culture farming is a recipe for disaster, immaterial of what crop or country. Should not be allowed.

 

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