Consumption/demand of NR up in 2018

Thai Gov’t unrolls 20-year masterplan for rubber sector

In 2018, world production of natural rubber (NR) accounted for 13.960 million tonnes, an increase of 4.6% from 13.350 million tonnes on a year-to-year basis, says the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) in its latest report for December 2018.

Meanwhile, the world demand recorded an increase of 5.2%, year-to-year, amounting to 14.017 million tonnes in 2018. This resulted a deficit in supply of 57,000 tonnes of NR during the reference period. This scenario is attributed to the recent revision from Thailand, said the Kuala Lumpur-headquartered ANRPC. 

Some recovery on NR prices were spotted across physical and futures markets during December 2018. Although millions of rubber smallholders still have been affected with the low rubber prices, this rebound was timely to close the year of 2018 with a higher low of US$1.50 per kg (average price of block and sheet rubber for the month of December 2018). 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) retained its earlier estimate for the global growth at 3.7% despite weaker performances in some economies, says ANRPC.

Trade tensions between China and the US have eased after both countries agreed to halt the new tariffs for 90 days and allowed talks during this period. With the involvement of the US’s President Trump in the negotiations, who has showed his desire for making a deal with China, it is expected that some promising results from these talks may be available in the coming weeks.