The world production of natural rubber fell 5.2% to 2.989 million tonnes in the first quarter (January-March) of 2019 from 3.152 million tonnes recorded during the same period last year, according to the latest statistics released by Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries(ANRPC).
Apart from the presence of wintering seasons and prevailing low rubber prices in some countries, the new leaf fall disease outbreak in South Sumatra might also have contributed to the drop in the world NR production, ANRPC says.
Based on the preliminary estimates, most of the ANRPC members have experienced a fall in production during Q1 2019 namely Thailand, Indonesia, China, India and Philippines, ranging from 1.7% to 23.6%. However, production grew in Vietnam (15.9%) Malaysia (13.6%), Cambodia (36.8%) and Sri Lanka (2.3%) on a year-to-year basis.
The world consumption of NR also came down marginally by 0.4% to 3.380 million tonnes during the same quarter, as against 3.392 million tonnes registered during the same period last year.
During this reference period, China recorded only a 0.5% growth on a year-to-year basis. China’s NR consumption accounted for 40% of the world share. The slowdown in the global economy and the uncertainty over the outcome from the talks between the two giants countries – China and US — over the tariff matters too led to lower demand for NR, ANRPC says.