Demand for Natural Rubber (NR) is “set to enter positive territory” after the Covid shock, increasing 1.4% year-on-year during the third quarter of the current fiscal, said ANRPC ( Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries).
“Worst is almost over” (for NR), observes the Kuala lumpur-based global outfit.
Demand levels have “almost returned to normal with the exception of a few countries.”
“In particular, consumption in China is expected to increase by 0.8% year-on-year during the three months to the end of September,” said RB Premadasa, secretary general, ANRPC, in the latest monthly bulletin “NR Trends Statistics” ( June 2020).
The world NR consumption had dropped by 15.7% to 5.85 million tonne in the first half 2020. This is partly due to 20% decline in demand from China, which accounts for 40% of total global consumption.
On the production side, the ANRPC report pointed out that Covid-19 was to be blamed for the loss of nearly one million tonne potential NR supply across the globe. Over the first six months of the year, the global NR production had fallen 6.5% year-on-year to 5.70 million tonne. For the full year, the world production is expected to stand at 13.199 million tonne, down 4.5% from the previous year.
However, ANRPC’s global production estimate in June is marginally higher than what it worked out in its outlook report in May. In May, it had put the total production estimate for 2020 at 13.130 million tonne. ANRPC attributes the slight improvement to the ‘better output’ from Brazil.