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iconThe role of Thailand in the International Rubber Association [   May  2016 ]


The International Rubber Association (IRA) was inaugurated in Ottawa, Canada on 24 September 1971 through the corporation of rubber associations in both producing and consuming countries. Currently, IRA consists of 21 members from 13 countries. The Thai Rubber Association is one of the initial members and a member of the Management Committee. With the term of 2 years, IRA is led by a nine-member Management Committee, four of which are member associations from producing countries while the other five are those from consuming countries. The objectives of IRA are to formulate rubber trade practices, to prepare international rubber contracts, to foster international cooperation on rubber production, trade and consumption among producing and consuming countries, to collectively solve any problems in connection with international rubber trade as well as to facilitate continued improvement in international rubber trade. The Secretariat office of IRA is currently located in the Thai Rubber Association’s building.

IRA arranges Management Committee meeting once a year. This year, the Management Committee Meeting of the International Rubber Association was held at Orchid Room, Excelsior Tower, Level L, Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel, Coleman Street in Singapore on Sunday, 8 May 2016. In representation of TRA, Mr. Paul Sumade Lee, IRA Chairman, Mr. Supadetch Ongsakul, IRA Executive Secretary, Ms. Piyaporn Saelim (TRA manager) and Mr. Prasit Petnoosed (TRA staff) participated in the meeting. Other associations present comprised of Malaysia Rubber Exchange (MRE), Singapore Exchange (SGX SICOM), Rubber Trade Association of Europe (RTAE), Rubber Association of Indonesia (Gapkindo), Rubber Trade Association of Japan (RTAJ) and Myanmar Rubber Planters & Producers Association (MRPPA).

Prior to the meeting, the IRA Chairman gave a commencement address regarding the state of rubber industry as follows. The year 2015 is one of the most challenging time in the rubber industry, particularly those in the up and mid-stream. Rubber prices have been sold down very aggressively in the face of strong US dollars and weak global economies. Unnecessary speculations are not making life any better for some of us when we are expected to produce rubber for the industrial usage. Yet we end up being caught in the biggest casino of all. In the excuse of having to deepen the liquidity in the rubber future exchanges, we have attracted unfortunately too many counter-productive participants to come to trade in our industry with the pretend of the price discovery. The time has come for us to take a leadership to make a change to this casino mentality. We must encourage less speculation in our industry and better still lesser number of dealers/funds engaging in our industry. Otherwise, it may ultimately lead us to lose our competitiveness.

The important matters of the meeting are the preparation of the new RSS samples according to Green Book, amendments to the IRA Contract for TSR, contract discipline and adoption of new IRA members, viz. Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA) and Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX).

The IRA Management Committee meeting 2016 was successfully organized. Praises were heard from all who attended the meeting. On behalf of the Thai Rubber Association, I wish to thank Mr. Paul Sumade Lee, IRA Chairman and Mr. Supadetch Ongsakul, IRA Executive Secretary as well as the Secretariat of TRA for making the meeting a huge success. I hope that IRA will always be an important part of the corporation between producing and consuming countries for continued development of international rubber trade.

Mr. Chaiyos Sincharoenkul


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