Thai natural rubber prices have fallen from a peak of 179.25 baht ($5.41) per kg in 2011 to 45 baht ($1.38) per kg in December 2017 (36.95 baht as record low in Jan-Feb 2015). My in-laws, with a 3-hectare land, have waited a long time for the price to go up, but have now given up on rubber tapping. They recently cut down 1.000 rubber trees and sold it as rubberwood for around 200.000 baht.
It’s sad, but not the end of the world as they also have fields with oil palms (whose fruit they sell to a factory producing RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil), and now they will replant something new — perhaps durian, the “king of fruits,” and more oil palms.
Below is a video from 2015 when I visited their rubber tree plantation, which is just a memory now.