Sri Lanka rubber prices, cultivation rising: trade official

July 08, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lankan natural rubber prices will remain high on strong demand while cultivation and production is increasing, the chairman of the Colombo Rubber Traders' Association Anura Edirisinghe said. Global natural rubber consumption will continue to outstrip supply through 2009, resulting in prices maintaining current high levels or increasing even above current levels, he told the association's annual general meeting.

Sri Lanka's is an exporter of rubber and prices for the raw material are set on export demand.

But in recent years the island has been importing lower grades of rubber to feed solid rubber manufacture in the island as production had fallen when growers stopped tapping and even uprooted trees during times of low prices.

With the rise in prices of synthetic rubber, owing to high prices of petroleum from which it is derived, demand for natural rubber will inevitably remain strong.

"Rubber prices are now quite lucrative to growers," Edirisinghe said.

"It has enabled them to invest in replanting and this should increase production to 120 million kg by 2010.

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Increased demand from China, the US, Europe and India should keep demand for Sri Lankan natural rubbe

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