Japanese tire maker targets output increase
Demand for local rubber to rise by 2017By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A Japanese tire maker will increase production by 2.5 times by 2017 and will be needing more Philippine rubber, presenting a big opportunity for local farmers and suppliers, according to Trade Undersecretary Merly M. Cruz.
Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI) currently manufactures 21,000 tires per day and has bared plans to grow this volume to 50,000 tires per day by 2017.
This, as global tire manufacturers see the improvement in demand from North America balancing the softening replacement market in Europe.
YTPI sources raw materials such as rubber here and abroad. The Philippines presently supplies only 6 percent of YTPI’s raw material needs and initially aims to increase its share by 50 percent by 2017, according to the DTI.
“We need to capacitate our industry players in order to build better product quality and reliable supply,” Cruz said.
To encourage both higher volume and quality in rubber production, Cruz said the DTI is organizing the Philippine Rubber Investment and Market Exhibit (Prime) from Sept. 16 to 18 at the Holiday Inn in Clark, Pampanga.
Cruz said Prime will be the first event to promote access to opportunities for the rubber industry and will help boost prospects for strategic job creation, economic expansion and business networking.
The Philippines has 136,000 hectares of rubber plantations and wants to expand this by 40 percent over the next four years.
The Philippines used to host a number of rubber multinationals. YTPI is the only one left since the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in late 1980s, when companies were restricted from owning big, plantation-type lands of 1,000 hectares and above. Goodyear, Firestone, and Sime Darby used to operate in the Philippines, mostly in Mindanao.
YTPI began business operations in the Philippines in January 1998 in its production facility in Clark Special Economic Zone.
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