Kuala Lumpur – World production of natural rubber (NR) registered a 4.6% year-on-year increase at 13.960 million tonnes in 2018, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).
Global demand for NR rose 5.2% to 14.017 million tonnes for the year, leading to a shortfall of 57,000 tonnes, ANRPC secretary-general Nguyen Ngoc Bich reported in a review issued 25 Feb.
The ANRPC noted “some recovery” in NR prices across physical and futures markets during December 2018.
“This rebound was timely to close the year of 2018 with a higher low of $1.50/kg (€1.3/kg) average price of block and sheet rubber for the month of December 2018,” the report said.
The ANRPC official expressed optimism that the easing of tension between China and the US would have “promising results” in coming weeks.
President Trump delayed the imposition of 25% tariffs on some €175 billion worth of Chinese goods on 23 Feb.
The goods, which have been under a 10% tariff order since September 2018, include tires, rubber chemicals, manufactured rubber goods and synthetic and natural rubber.