The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has predicted significant fall in both production and consumption of natural rubber in the current year.
While factors such as the recent tropical storm in Thailand and the devastation caused by floods in Kerala are expected to slacken NR output, ANRPC expects the world consumption of NR to take a slow track during 2019 in view of the increasing concerns over the global economic conditions and the uncertainty clouding the world trade and global investments besides geopolitical factors.
ANRPC expects the world production of natural rubber to increase only at a slow rate of 2.0% during the year 2019. This is in view of the slower growth projected in Thailand (0.9%), Viet Nam (1.6%) and China (0.8%), and a decline in the case of Indonesia (-2.4%). In 2018, the world produced 13.960 million tonnes of NR, up 4.6% from 13.350 million tonnes recorded in 2017.
In its latest Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics report, ANRPC says that the world production of NR posted a 10.1% fall to 1.080 million
tonnes during January 2019 compared with the same month in the previous year. While the production declined during the month by 11.9% in the ANRPC member-countries, it grew by 3.7% in non-ANRPC countries on an annualised basis.
According to preliminary estimate reported by the Rubber Authority of Thailand, the production in the largest NR producing country fell by 28.0%, year-over-year, during January 2019. This resulted from the recent tropical storm that hit the southern part of Thailand, which is
the main producing provinces of natural rubber in Thailand.
Fall in production at varying degree was also reported during January 2019 in a few other producing countries which include Indonesia (-1.7%) and India (-4.1%). In contrast, production grew during the month by 27.2% in Malaysia and 33.3% in Cambodia on an annualised basis.
The world NR consumption is anticipated to grow at slow rate of 2.4% to 14.310 million tonnes during 2019. The world demand of NR had charted a growth of 5.2%, amounting to 14.017 million tonnes, during the year 2018.
Based on preliminary estimates, the world consumption of NR grew by 1.3%, year-over-year, to 1.151 million tonnes during January 2019. Among the major NR consuming countries, the consumption
grew during the month by 3.8% in China, 2.7% in India and 1.9% in Indonesia on a year-to-year basis.