March 25, 2019 / 6:03 AM / 6 months ago

Thailand expected to delay start of cuts in rubber exports due to election

JAKARTA, March 25 (Reuters) - Thailand, the world’s top natural rubber producer, will delay the start of planned curbs on exports of the commodity by over a month due to the general election in the country, officials from two other nations that are also making cuts said on Monday.

Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, which together form the Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), had earlier this month said they would cut rubber exports by a total of 240,000 tonnes for four months from April under the so-called Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS), looking to boost flagging prices.

However, officials from Indonesia and Malaysia on Monday said Thailand would be delaying the start of its four months of cuts until May 20 due to the election that took place there the day before, its first since a 2014 coup.

They did not specify why the election was delaying the cuts, while Thailand was yet to officially confirm the move.

“According to an agreement at a senior official meeting, implementation (of AETS) by Indonesia and Malaysia will start on April 1, and Thailand will start on May 20,” Kasan, head of the Trade Policy Analysis and Development Agency at Indonesia’s trade ministry, told Reuters.

A source at Malaysia’s primary industries ministry confirmed the information from Indonesia.

Indonesia’s cuts are expected to account for 98,000 tonnes of the total. It is unclear how Thailand and Malaysia will divide the rest of the curbs.

Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe in JAKARTA, Emily Chow in KUALA LUMPUR; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Joseph Radford

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