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China remains Vietnam’s biggest rubber importer

By Cong Phuong

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HCMC – China continued to be the biggest market for Vietnam’s rubber export sector last year, accounting for nearly 80% of the total quantity and 78.5% of the overall value in the country’s rubber outbound shipments.

Ministry of Industry and Trade data showed a significant increase in rubber exports to China in 2023, reaching a total of 1.7 million tons and generating US$2.27 billion in revenue. These figures represented a 7% year-on-year increase in export volume, albeit with a 5% decrease in value.

The ministry attributed the decline in export value to price volatility, with export prices decreasing by 10.7% compared to 2022 to an average of US$1,331 per ton.

China continued to be a major destination for both natural rubber and synthetic rubber (HS code 400280), accounting for 84% of the volume and 87% of the value of the total exports of this product category.

While Vietnam heavily relies on the Chinese market, it faces stiff competition from other major rubber-producing countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Outside of China, Vietnam has found it hard to expand its global presence. In the U.S. market, Vietnam’s rubber exports from January to November 2023 dropped by over 27% in terms of quantity and nearly 41% in value over the same period in 2022.

Vietnam’s market share for natural rubber in the U.S. market shrank to 2.96% from 3.1% in 2022.

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