Rubber’s diverse application, ranging from automotive parts and tyres to rubber gloves and chewing gum makes it an indispensable material in modern society. Demand for the two main rubber types, latex -derived natural rubber and chemicals-synthesised synthetic rubber are driving the growth of the global rubber market.
In 2018, Asia Pacific’s natural rubber output was estimated at 12,644 kt up from 12,352 kt a year ago to meet the increasing natural rubber consumption of 10, 239 kt (up from 9776 KT in 2017); whereas synthetic rubber production peaked slightly at 8,284 kt in 2018, against 8,045 kt in 2017, according to the latest data from the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), an inter-governmental organisation composed of rubber producing and consuming stakeholders. Headquartered in Singapore, IRSG was established in August 1944 by the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. France joined as a founding member after the end of WWII. To date, the organisation, is comprised of 36 countries and 120 industry members.
As IRSG celebrates its 75th anniversary this August, it aims to continue to serve as “the forum for the discussion of matters affecting the supply and demand for natural as well as synthetic rubber”.
IRSG’s mandate currently is based on Promoting International Cooperation and Developing Initiatives; Providing a Global Forum and Global Platform for the World’s Rubber Sector, and Increasing the Levels of Market Transparency along the Value Chain and seek Solutions. An authoritative source of statistical data and analysis for all aspects of the rubber industry, including production, consumption, and trade in rubber as well as rubber products, IRSG is behind such information-rich publications, namely, Rubber Statistical Bulletin, Rubber Industry Report (RIR), and World’s Rubber Outlook (WRO), and more. It also organises the annual industry symposium World Rubber Summit (WRS). This year’s edition of WRS was held in Singapore in March.