Rubber market recovery slows

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The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has released its Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics report for September, which highlights that world production of natural rubber (NR) fell 8.7%, year-on-year, during Jan-Aug 2020 to 7.778 million tons.

Accounting for a predicted 3.8% fall in the remaining four months of the year, the total production during 2020 is anticipated at 12.901 million metric tons reflecting a 6.8% fall from the previous year. This revised outlook of the world supply in 2020 is 1.9 percentage points lower than the outlook reported a month ago which was 13.149 million metric tons by representing a 4.9% fall.

The report notes that world consumption of NR fell 11.7%, year on year, to 8.151 million metric tons during Jan-Aug 2020. In view of the restoration of economic activities across countries, and a faster-than expected economic recovery in China, the consumption sector is anticipated to perform relatively better during the remaining four months of the year by contracting only by 1.8%, year-on-year during the period. ANRPC observes that the world consumption outlook for the full year 2020 is marginally scaled up to 12.611 million metric tons, though still showing an 8.4% fall from the previous year. The outlook for 2020 reported a month ago was 12.544 million metric tons.

Broadly speaking, the report finds that NR prices further improved during September 2020, to varying degrees across different grades and in different physical markets. Among the various grades and markets, RSS3 grade at FOB Bangkok stood out during September 2020, averaging 13.8% above the average it registered in the previous month (August 2020).

Compared with the average prices in August 2020, the average prices during September 2020 were up 5.9% for STR20 at FOB Bangkok, 4.7% for SMR20 at FOB Kuala Lumpur, 3.5% for RSS4 at Kottayam local market in India, and 4.6% for latex-in-bulk at Kuala Lumpur local market.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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