The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has released its May 2018 Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics report, which states that the world consumption of natural rubber has increased by 6.2%, year-over-year during the period from January to May 2018.
During the same period, the world supply rose 7.7%, which equate to 5.822 and 5.252 million tons, respectively. In other words, there was a 570,000-ton supply shortfall, which has helped to partly absorb the excess availability in the market.
During the whole year 2018, the ANRPC anticipates the world production to increase by 6.1%, to 14.150 million tons, while the world consumption is expected to increase by 6.9%, to 14.300 million tons, thus creating a balance between supply and demand.
Although there has been a sharp rally in crude oil prices, it did not have a major effect on the price of natural rubber. However, rubber prices performed marginally better during May 2018 compared to the month before. The marginal recovery was partly helped by the devaluation of Japanese yen which had a positive impact on the rubber futures at TOCOM (Tokyo Commodity Exchange).