Rubber demand to be affected by coronavirus, says ANRPC

Against the back of the coronavirus pandemic, demand and production of natural rubber is on a downward trend, prompting the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) to revise its 2020 global outlook for natural rubber (NR).

The association said it expects NR production to grow by 2.7% this year to 14.2 million tonnes, down from the previous estimate of 14.3 million tonnes it announced in its annual report in January, after producers reported a 5.2% drop in production in the first two months of 2020.

Despite the drop, the ANRPC says it still expects growth of global output due to an expected expansion of total mature area within the ANRPC member states.

The ANRPC also lowered its estimates for the the growth in demand for NR, expecting consumption to rise 1.2% to 13.8 million tonnes, compared with earlier estimates of 2.7% growth.

While the signing of the US/China trade deals in mid-January renewed hopes for demand from China, the outbreak of coronavirus has clouded expectations for the full year.

“The world consumption fell by 18.6% during the first two months of 2020 as China’s manufacturing has been severely disrupted following the outbreak of Covid-19 epidemic,” ANRPC said recently.

The association also said it expects the world consumption outlook for 2020 to be revised down further in view of a global economic slump from Covid-19.