ERJ staff report (DS)
Kuala Lumpur -- Demand for natural rubber remains strong, especially in China. This has meant the price has resisted the decline seen in some other commodities. In response, supply is expected to increase in the next three months, according to new data published by the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) in the April issue of its publication, Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics.
Total production of NR from members of the ANRPC is expected to touch 651,000 tons during April this year, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier. During second quarter (April-June), the production is anticipated rise 10.5 percent from a year before. Demand, however, is also rising.
Nevertheless, ANRPC said, "
Tightness in NR supply is expected to ease in the coming weeks as farmers gradually resume harvesting after the 'wintering' offseason. Total supply from the ANRPC member countries is expected to reach 651,000 tons in April and 753,000 tons in May. In March, the production stood at 580,000 tons only.
China is anticipated to consume 945,000 tonnes of NR during the second quarter (April to June) as against 734,000 tonnes in the first quarter. The country is expected to import 270,000 tonnes of NR (including compounds containing more than 95 percent NR) during April and 235,000 tonnes during May.
After two successive months of decline, said ANRPC, China's import-demand turned positive in March by clocking a 1.4 percent year-to-year growth to 297,000 tons. The government anticipates the import to rise 47.8 percent in May from a very low base in the year before. The import during the second quarter (April to June) is forecast to rise 21.3 percent, year-to-year, as against a 2.3 percent fall in Q1. The expected sharp rise in Q2 is attributed to the very low volume imported during the same quarter of the previous year. Import had fallen 22.1 percent in the second quarter in 2010.
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