The world supply of natural rubber (NR) fell 8.3% to 5.853 million metric tons during the first half of 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the latest report from the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). World demand for NR increased 0.8% to 6.933 million metric tons during the same reference period.
ANRPC secretary general, Dr Nguyen Ngoc Bich said that, despite the presence of favorable market fundamentals, particularly in the physical rubber market, other external factors such as the uncertainties of the China-US trade war, rising tension in the Middle East and the slowdown in the Chinese economy all played a role in the NR market.
Traders had speculated based on the expectation on an interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, especially in the equity market, but in June the Reserve announced no change to the rate. Worries over the escalated trade-war tension between China and the USA then caused traders to remain conservative in their positions.