Malaysia rubber output, exports strong in 2021; rubber gloves were top earners

The Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) reported that overall rubber and rubber product exports increased nearly 71% to RM63.2 billion from January to October 2021, compared to RM37 billion in the same period in 2020.

It said the latex goods sector continued to perform well, with revenue of RM51.4 billion, up 86% from RM27.6 billion in the same period last year. Rubber gloves continue to be the highest earner, with export revenue of nearly RM50 billion, up nearly 91% from the previous year. It added that medical gloves accounted for over 40% percent of the latex goods sector, worth RM22.2 billion. The dry rubber products sector  likewise shows positive growth.

The tyre industry was expected to help boost dry rubber export performance while also increasing the consumption of locally produced rubber. According to MRC, tyre exports increased by 28.1% from January to October 2021, totaling nearly RM1.4 billion, compared to the same period last year.

Industrial rubber goods, which include products for the automotive, mining, and construction industries (37.2%), as well as footwear (20%), showed an optimistic percent rise last year.

Amid the global impetus for economic recovery, industry players are urged to move up the global value chain by introducing new channels and ideologies, such as collaborations with International Development Organizations (IDOs). In a related development, MRC is launching  the Global Fund for Rubber Innovation (GFRI), a new initiative aimed at promoting new ideas, innovations, and inventions with high commercial viability in the rubber industry. The initiative includes a RM10 million grant to support innovative inter-disciplinary non-fundamental research with the potential to kickstart investments in high-value rubber and rubber products.