Thailand offers $1b to support rubber farmers

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Rubber market news - Daily update rubber price, rubber market newsThailand, the world’s largest rubber producer, is offering rubber farmers 30 billion baht (close to $1 billion) to help offset declining world market prices for the commodity that dropped 20 per cent so far in 2013 after a high in February.

The move is seen as the latest in a series of populist measures to keep the rural population loyal to the current Pheu Thai-led government, most of all the highly expensive rice subsidy scheme.

Farmers have welcomed the promised funding, but said they will still hold protest marches across the country on August 19. The government is trapped between the costly subsidies that put pressure on the budget and endangers the credit rating, and worries that withholding money from farmers may risk social unrest.

Critics say that the government will have to introduce more sustainable measures as the subsidy schemes will sooner or later collapse.

Of the 30 billion baht, 10 billion will be used to offset the lower prices, 15 billion will be invested in machinery for major rubber producers, and 5 billion baht will be spent to help farmer cooperatives set up more rubber-processing plants.

The Thai government is currently sitting on 200,000 tonnes of rubber stockpiles after pledging 45 billion baht to buy up rubber from farmers at above-market prices.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand, the world’s largest rubber producer, is offering rubber farmers 30 billion baht (close to $1 billion) to help offset declining world market prices for the commodity that dropped 20 per cent so far in 2013 after a high in February.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Rubber market news - Daily update rubber price, rubber market newsThailand, the world’s largest rubber producer, is offering rubber farmers 30 billion baht (close to $1 billion) to help offset declining world market prices for the commodity that dropped 20 per cent so far in 2013 after a high in February.

The move is seen as the latest in a series of populist measures to keep the rural population loyal to the current Pheu Thai-led government, most of all the highly expensive rice subsidy scheme.

Farmers have welcomed the promised funding, but said they will still hold protest marches across the country on August 19. The government is trapped between the costly subsidies that put pressure on the budget and endangers the credit rating, and worries that withholding money from farmers may risk social unrest.

Critics say that the government will have to introduce more sustainable measures as the subsidy schemes will sooner or later collapse.

Of the 30 billion baht, 10 billion will be used to offset the lower prices, 15 billion will be invested in machinery for major rubber producers, and 5 billion baht will be spent to help farmer cooperatives set up more rubber-processing plants.

The Thai government is currently sitting on 200,000 tonnes of rubber stockpiles after pledging 45 billion baht to buy up rubber from farmers at above-market prices.

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