Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, members of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) and global producers of rubber, have reported a significant decline in natural rubber (NR) production due to the widespread fungal Pestalotiopsis disease, which has affected hectares of rubber plantations in the countries.
Owing to the outbreak, IRTC operational arm International Rubber Consortium (IRCo) mentioned that the estimated NR production for ITRC Member Countries could reduce by as much as 800ktonnes. ITRC members surmised that their combined NR production for the first half of the year fell 10.6% to 492k tonnes, compared to the same period in 2018, while non-ITRC members such as Vietnam, the Ivory Coast and Cambodia increased production by 11.56% to 106k tonnes.
Earlier this year, the three ITRC members implemented the 6th agreed export tonnage scheme (AETS) which sought to curb exports by some 240k tonnes over April 1st onwards. However, after the period of the implementation, the actual export reduction of the three countries totalled 441.6ktonnes – it was announced that there was “no ‘hanging’ stock to be released to the market pursuant to the implementation”.