Recent ANRPC statistics on NR production suggest that there is enough scope for new countries to be part of the global NR supply chain. There are countries with huge potential to grow NR and serve the global market. Myanmar and Colombia suit well in this bandwagon.
Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country, inducted to ANRPC as its newest member, boasts of a ‘rubber cultivation history’ of 140 years. For the year ended June 2018, Myanmar’s rubber production rose to 2,42,000 tonnes from 3,11,000 hectares of yielding rubber. Interestingly, the country annually exports 62% (150,000 tonnes) of its production. The rubber sector in the country employs about 450,000-500,000 people mostly in areas of planting, maintenance and tapping or latex harvesting.
Another emerging rubber power is Colombia, the Northwest nation in South America. In Latin America, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico account for most of the regional production. The recently held Colombian Natural Rubber Congress (September 2018) has set the stage for boosting NR production in the country. In 2014, the country’s consumption was about 17,000 tonnes and production 4,000 tonnes. Therefore, 75% of consumption was imported, mainly from Guatemala and Southeast Asia. The country is on the verge to emerge as a net exporter by intensifying exports to the US, China, Brazil, Canada and Venezuela. This simply means boosting production by at least five times. Geographically, Myanmar (Southeast Asia) and Colombia (Northwest country in South America) are miles apart. But these two countries nurture their hope on NR as an income generator and job creator. Together they produce around 300,000 tonnes of NR. If all goes well, they have the potential to increase their share in the NR pie.
Rubber Asia probes the prospective potential and opportunities of these resurging NR markets.