Kuala Lumpur – The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has lowered its production and demand estimates for 2021, despite signs of global economic recovery.
In its monthly natural rubber (NR) update on 22 Oct, the association cut production outlook by 73 kilotonnes to 13.787 million tonnes, representing a 1.4% growth compared to last year. The figure is 0.5% lower than the 13.860 million tonnes reported in August.
The revision follows downward estimates for production by Thailand and Vietnam, which lowered forecast by 3.9% to 4.673 million tonnes and by 2.1% to 1.200 million tonnes respectively.
During the month of September, the world NR production grew 2.2% year-on-year to 1.297 million tonnes, according to ANRPC.
Despite lifting movement restrictions, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines experienced a production fall during the reference period at 5.6%, 4.5% and 3.7% respectively.
Overall, production in the third quarter decreased 4.1% to 3.584 million tonnes as compared to 3.736 million tonnes reported during same period last year.
ANRPC linked the decline to movement restriction orders in a number of producing countries during July and August.
However, the association said most producing countries are foreseeing improvement in production for the month of October.
Thailand expects production to improve further with a smaller contraction at 2.4% to 435,000 tonnes, while other producing countries are expecting positive growths ranging from 1.3% to 42.9%.
ANRPC also revised down its outlook for the global consumption of natural rubber, despite an anticipated growth in demand from China.
The outlook for global demand was trimmed down to 14.116 million tonnes, representing a growth of 8.9% over last year. The estimate compares against the 9.3% anticipated growth reported in ANRPC's August issue.
According to the association, demand in China is expected to expand by 39,000 tonnes to 5.949 million tonnes this year, representing an increase of 5.4% compared to last year.
India has also revised up demand by 14.4% to 1.190 million tonnes this year, while Thailand and Malaysia expect consumption to shrink by 4.6% and 1.8% respectively.
Overall, demand fell 2.3% to 1.155 million tonnes in September, after a strong growth over the last eight consecutive months.
ANRPC linked the decline to “relatively lower demand in major consuming countries such as China and India” during the month.
Over the third quarter, demand grew 1.7% to 3.423 million tonnes, driven by global economy recovery as Covid vaccinations increased.
In October, ANRPC expects consumption to shrink by 3% year-on-year to 1.148 million tonnes