THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRIPARTITE RUBBER COUNCIL (ITRC) IN STABILIZING NR PRICES
In 2001, three major producers of Natural Rubber (NR) namely Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia signed a Declaration to establish a rubber tripartite cooperation under the framework of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC). The objectives of this cooperation are aimed towards sustainable NR production and implement relevant measures in achieving remunerative NR prices for the wellbeing of rubber smallholders. To assist ITRC, International Rubber Consortium (IRCo) was established in 2004 with the 3 members Governments from ITRC as its shareholders.
To achieve a sustainable industry and stabilised NR prices, 3 mechanisms have been established under ITRC and IRCo i.e. Supply Management Scheme (SMS) as a long-term planting programme to ensure sustainable supply, Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS) and Strategic Market Operation (SMO) which will be implemented whenever the need arises.
On top of the above 3 existing mechanisms, various programmes are also currently being implemented as part of the 10-Plan of ITRC/IRCo. These include rubberised road under Demand Promotion Scheme (DPS) and establishment of Regional Rubber Market; providing an alternative rubber futures trading with hedging facilities.
ITRC is committed in helping millions of rubber smallholders who are the backbone of this industry. The sustainability of this industry is very crucial as NR is an important raw material in plethora of industries ranging from tyres, latex-based and other industrial and general goods. In the next decade, ITRC will play a greater role to ensure sustainability, remunerative NR prices for smallholders as well as providing fair and less volatile NR prices for our consumers. With Viet Nam on board as a Full Partner of ITRC, our mission and aims look more promising than ever.