The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has released its report of natural rubber trends and statistics for the year up to July 2018.
According to ANRPC, world consumption of natural rubber (NR) increased by 5.2%, year-on-year, to 8.158 million tons during the first seven months of 2018. Meanwhile, world production of NR rose 3.7%, year-over-year, to 7.372 million tons during the same time period. The ANRPC says these figures reveal a short fall in production at 786,000 tons during the first seven months of 2018.
Unfavorable weather conditions and prevailing low rubber prices have resulted in a production fall in Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka so far this year. As a result of continuing monsoons and floods among NR producing countries, some are likely to revise-down production for 2018, where anticipated growth may be lower than 5.2%.
These sentiments, both in the futures markets and physical markets, have been largely dominated by concerns over the worsening trade dispute between the USA and China coupled with further building up of inventory at designated warehouses owned by Shanghai Rubber Futures Exchange.