HANOI, June 4 (Xinhua) — Vietnam gained 673 million U.S. dollars from exporting 495,000 tons of rubber in the first five months of this year, seeing respective year-on-year increases of 4 percent and 11.9 percent.
China was Vietnam’s largest importer of rubber in the period, accounting for some 60 percent of the total volume, tailed by India and South Korea, the Vietnam Rubber Association said on Tuesday.
In May alone, the country exported 80,000 tons of rubber valued at 116 million U.S. dollars, down 26.5 percent in volume and 26.4 percent in value.
In the five-month period, Vietnam also spent 464 million U.S. dollars importing rubber, mainly from South Korea, Japan, Laos and Cambodia, up 5.4 percent.
According to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries, the world production of natural rubber in 2018 rose 4.6 percent on-year to nearly 14 million tons, while the world demand recorded an increase of 5.2 percent to over 14 million tons, resulting a deficit in supply of 57,000 tons of natural rubber.
By the end of 2018, Vietnam had 965,400 hectares of rubber trees, down 0.4 percent against late 2017, according to its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.