By David Shaw, ERJ staff report
Singapore - Even if the world falls into a second recession in 2012, global consumption of rubber will exceed 35 million tonnes by 2020, according to new data from the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG).
Dr Stephen Evans, secretary-general of the IRSG presented two economic scenarios to the World Rubber Summit, its annual meeting of the rubber industry. One is based on the latest economic projections from the IMF; the other takes a more pessimistic view.
Even in the worst case, total rubber consumption in 2020 is likely to reach 35.8 million tonnes, split 16.5 m to NR and 19.3 million to SR.
In the more optimistic case, NR consumption may be slightly lower, at 16.4 million tonnes, while SR consumption will just beat 20 million , adding to a total of 36.7 million tonnes.
Nevertheless demand is also growing, said Evans. He concluded saying that if we look at nominal capacity for natural rubber and name plate capacity of synthetic rubber, then both materials are under-supplied over the coming decade. However, trees can be over-tapped in the short term, which can make up the forecast gap. Meanwhile, new synthetic rubber capacity is likely to come on stream to fill the gap on the synthetic side.
A meeting of IRSG member governments re-appointed Evans as secretary-general of the IRSG for a further 4 years.