The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) said natural rubber (NR) demand will likely increase driven by early, unexpected economy recovery in China and the US. China also has scaled up its outlook on the consumption of NR for 2020 to 5.04 million metric tonnes, up from the 4.93 million tonnes it had reported in July.
At this rate, NR demand could go up by about 2.6% in the current quarter, which is set to end by October 31, 2020.
However, the increase in demand from China is offset by falling demand in Malaysia. Growing demand for nitrile rubber gloves, which are preferred in the fight against the coronavirus, is a major driver for Malaysian NR demand. The NR outlook for Malaysia has fallen to 522,000 tonnes from the 603,000 tonnes reported last month.
According to ANRPC, during the first six months of the year, NR demand fell 15% to 5.91 million tonnes, while the full year output was estimated to decline 4.5% to 13.195 million tonnes in 2020.As a result of the revisions across the globe, ANRPC’s outlook for 2020 demand is up marginally to 12.75 million tonnes from 12.67 million tonnes anticipated a month ago. It represents a 7.3% decrease from the previous year.
ANRPC also expects a further 2.4% decline in production during the four months to the end of October.