Kuala Lumpur – Global demand for natural rubber (NR) grew 5% year-on-year to 6.96 million tonnes in the first half of 2018, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).
In the six months to end of June, supply of natural rubber rose 4.5%, to 6.214 million tonnes, leaving a shortfall in production of 746,000 tonnes, ANRPC's latest figures show.
In its 30 July monthly update, the association also revised its full-year market outlook: production now anticipated to increase 5.2% to 14.040 million tonnes, and demand to rise 5.7% to 14.136 million tonnes.
As for NR prices in June, the ANRPC said the “favourable supply-demand fundamentals” in NR market was not reflected in the physical nor futures rubber markets.
The markets, it noted, were influenced by external factors such as the development in the crude oil industry and the trade tensions between US and China.
According to ANRPC, prices at the Shanghai Futures Exchange have been bearish, partly due to the sharp devaluation in Chinese yuan since April and a high level of rubber inventories.