Hlegu rubber lab to issue certificates when COVID restrictions eased

Myanmar Natural Rubber Quality Testing Lab in Hlegu will issue certificates when the government eases coronavirus restrictions. It depends on the pandemic situation, said U Khaing Myint, Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA) secretary.

At present, the pandemic stopped the operation of the lab. Under stay-at-home guidelines, we cannot do anything but instead stay at home, he continued. “The operation of the lab is related to coronavirus situations. We have prepared for the construction of the extended buildings. Some equipment in the lab will be changed,” the MRPPA secretary said.

Myanmar Natural Rubber Quality Testing Lab was set up at the Commodity Testing and Quality Management Division (Hlegu Township) of the Consumer Affairs Department under the MOC. The lab will soon to issue the certificate after testing rubber quality, the association stated.

At present, Myanmar’s rubber raw materials are offered a lower price than that in the international market as they do not meet international standards. Therefore, rubber producers will keep trying to meet the international standard to earn actual market price, according to MRPPA.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and MRPPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2016 and set up Myanmar Natural Rubber Quality Testing Lab at the Commodity Testing and Quality Management Division (Hlegu Township) of the Consumer Affairs Department under the MOC.

Malaysia Rubber Board audited the lab in December 2016, and the lab passed Round Robin Test (or) Proficiency Test four times in 2017. International Rubber Association will accredit it. Rubber is primarily produced in Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi, Bago, and Yangon regions in Myanmar. As per 2018-2019 rubber season’s data, there are over 1.628 million acres of rubber plantations in Myanmar, with Mon State accounting for 497,153 acres, followed by Taninthayi Region with 348,344 acres and Kayin State with 270,760 acres. About 300,000 tonnes of rubber is produced annually across the country.

Seventy percent of rubber produced in Myanmar goes to China. It is also shipped to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, the Republic of Korea, India, Japan, and other countries, according to the MRPPA. Myanmar yearly exports over 200,000 tonnes of natural rubber to foreign countries, generating over $200 million.

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Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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