According to the ANRPC, in the first quarter of 2019, world natural rubber production fell 5.2%, year-on-year, accounting to 2.989 million metric tons in the winter season, and prevailing low rubber prices for some farmers in certain countries.
The new leaf fall disease outbreak in South Sumatra might also have contributed to the drop in world NR production. World consumption of NR was also down marginally by 0.4% to 3.380 million metric tons during the same reference period. This favorable market fundamentally has supported NR prices across key markets with some improvements over the first three months in 2019 by hovering around US$1.45 per kilogram.
Concern over the USA’s extension on the trade negotiation with China, which has yet to finalize a deal, has caused uncertainties in the global economy, could also be translated as volatility in the NR market. Despite the price rally seen in the crude oil market after OPEC has successfully stabilized the price through its effort in production cuts, along with US sanctions on Iraq and Venezuela, rubber prices did not track the same for this month as the influence of other external factors were prominent.