KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Dec. 13)—The International Natural Rubber Organization has sold 82,800 metric tons of its buffer stock, or more than 60 percent of the 138,000 metric tons it had on hand when it voted itself out of existence, according to a Dow Jones article on INRO´s quarterly report. The NR price stabilization group suspended sales in Asia Nov. 22 until further notice, because it has met initial sales goals there, INRO Chief Executive Arch Roberts told Dow Jones. But the organization is still selling actively in Europe and the U.S., because sales have been slower there. Roberts estimated there are 35,200 tons of stockpiled rubber in Europe and the U.S. and 20,000 in Asia. Clifford Raisch, INRO assistant buffer stock manager in the U.S., said he didn´t know the full details, but believed the Dow Jones report was substantially accurate. "We are hitting our quarterly targets, and most likely we´ll be able to meet our goal of selling off the buffer stock by our June 30 deadline," Raisch said. Raisch said it is INRO policy never to say who is buying the rubber, or how much. INRO bought the 138,000 tons of NR in an attempt to raise sagging world rubber prices. The group disbanded officially in October 1999, after Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka resigned.
More than 60 percent of INRO buffer stock sold
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