BANGKOK, Thailand (April 1)—Both Thailand and Malaysia are openly discussing increases in natural rubber production, in apparent contradiction to the 4-percent cutbacks they pledged as members of the International Rubber Co. Ltd. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said his government plans to increase NR production to 2.8 million metric tons over the next five years, up about 16 percent from the current 2.4 million. Thaksin also plans to combine three current Thai rubber industry agencies into the Rubber Authority of Thailand, according to the "Bangkok Post." In Malaysia, meanwhile, Primary Industries Minister Lim Keng Yaik said Malaysian plantations have diverted too much rubber-growing land for palm oil, and should allocate at least 10-20 percent of land area for rubber.
Thailand, Malaysia consider NR production hikes
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