Brazil compensates NR demand with Latin American imports

Brazil eyes the Latin American region as source of natural rubber (NR) to meet its increasing demand  for the commodity, according to a study. The Association of Natural Rubber Producers in Brazil (ABRABOR) Executive Director, Diogo Esperante said in his study that Brazil’s 213,000 tonnes demand for NR, exceeds its domestic production of 187,000 tonnes. This means that 53% of its consumption must be sourced from other nations.

“Since other countries in the region are also expanding in production, like Colombia that for the next five years will expand its tapping area to about 60 thousand hectares, we might consider that this trend could pick up also in block rubber, especially due to regional tax Incentives between the countries and cheaper transportation costs, ” Esperante wrote in his blog published online by the Rubberstudy Group.

In 2018, Brazil started importing 324 tonnes of block rubber from Colombia. Despite its small quantity, Esperante considers it a sign that Brazilian companies were willing to not only diversify sources but also buy local.

Before, 80% of block-rubber was imported from Indonesia and Thailand, while 60% of centrifuged latex came from Thailand alone. Now, movement of the rubber industry changed since the surge of Guatemala latex in Brazil. Thus, Esperante suggested that regional plans and integration of markets must ensue to support the expansion of NR in Latin America.

Diogo Esperante is Executive Director of APABOR, the NR Farmers and Processors Association of São Paulo/Brazil. He is also responsible for the Statistical Monitoring Program of the National Association of Natural Rubber Producers in Brazil (ABRABOR).