The Singapore-based Secretariat of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), which publishes data on production, consumption, trade and prices covering both natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR), estimates a sharp decline in the global rubber demand by 12.6% year-on-year up to 25.2 million tonnes in 2020, mainly because of the global pandemic.
It adds that containment measures including country lockdown, closure of factories and retail businesses and limited flow of labour and goods explains much of the downward trend in 2020 under the IMF scenario. The global rubber demand is expected to rebound in 2021 (7.9%) driven by recovery in the tyre sector (6.9%) and growth in the non-tyre sector (9.3%) under the IMF scenario.
World NR demand has declined by 1% in 2019 to 13.62 million tonnes. Under the IMF scenario the growth is expected to decline by 11% in 2020, reaching 12.12 million tonnes.
World SR demand has dropped by 1% in 2019 (15.18 million tonnes). Under the IMF scenario its growth is expected to decline by 14% in 2020, reaching 13.06 million tonnes. The SR demand is forecast to recover slightly faster (8%) than NR demand growth (7.8%) in 2021.