RI`s rubber output projected at 2.4 M tons in 2007

Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia, the world`s second largest natural rubber producer, is expected to produce 2.4 million tons of rubber this year compared to 2 million tons in 2004, an official said.

Indonesia whose rubber plantations cover an area of around 3 million hectares saw a 5-7 percent increase in its rubber output in each of the past three years, director of the Rubber Research Center (PPK) Chairil Anwar said here on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Thailand which has around 2 million hectares of rubber plantations produces an estimated 3 million tons of rubber per year, making it the world`s largest natural rubber producer, he said.

He said Thai rubber plantations has high productivity reaching 1.8 tons/hectare/year, well above Indonesia`s 0.7-0.8 ton/hectare/year.

Data from the Indonesian Plantation Research Institute (LRPI) show Indonesia earned more than US$3.9 billion from exporting natural rubber and rubber-based products in 2006 compared to US$3.51 billion a year earlier.

However, the figure is expected to fall to US$3.6-3.7 billion this year.

In order to raise the country`s rubber output, the government planned to rejuvenate 300 thousand hectares of rubber plantations until 2010, LRPI executive director Didiek Hadjar Goenadi said.

Indonesia aims to become the world`s largest producer of natural rubber and rubber-based products by 2020-2025.(*)
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