QINGDAO, China—Thailand's natural rubber production totaled 4.75 million metric tons in 2020, down by 2 percent from 2019, according to the Thai Rubber Association.
Its 2021 production is forecast to arrive at 4.85 million tons, close to the 2019 level, TRA's Deputy Secretary General Supadetch Ongsakul said at the recent China Rubber Conference in Qingdao, Shandong.
Factors that could impact Thailand's rubber exports this year include the pandemic, geopolitical tension as well as a global container shortage, he said.
Last year, Thailand exported 3.8 million tons of NR, down by 4 percent from 2019. The value of exports in 2020 fell by 5 percent year-on-year, to $59 billion.
China was the destination for 62 percent of those exports in tonnage, followed by Malaysia with 11 percent, which included 400,000 tons of latex, Ongsakul said. Thai rubber exports to China has remained relatively stable over the past five years.
Thailand has announced a 20-year national plan for 2017 to 2036, which aims to raise the share of its domestic consumption from 14 percent of NR production in 2016 to 35 percent in 2036.
Average rubber yield in the country, the country projects, will increase from 1,400 kilograms per hectare annually in 2016 to 2,250 kilograms in 2036, while total rubber plantations will drop from 3.7 million to 2.9 million hectares.
Exports of rubber-based products are expected to more than triple from $7.57 billion to $24.2 billion. Annual income per hectare will grow from $2,270 to $3,750.
The association also has rolled out measures to help achieve this goal, such as providing good quality rubber trees to farmers for the replacement of old or damaged trees and those with less yield, said Ongsakul.