Kuala Lumpur – The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has revised down its production figures for 2020, reflecting a sharp decline in annual output from India and Thailand.
World production of natural rubber (NR) fell 8.7% year-on-year during the first eight months of 2020, to 7.778 million tonnes, ANRPC said in its latest monthly update issued 14 Oct.
Anticipating a further 3.8% fall in the remaining four months, ANRPC said total production in 2020 is expected to reach 12.901 million tonnes - down 6.8% from the prior-year level.
The figure is 1.9 percentage points lower than ANRPC''s forecast from a month ago: at 13.149 million tonnes, 4.9% lower than in 2019.
In its latest report, the Kuala Lumpur-based association linked the downgraded outlook to a scale-back in production figures in Thailand and India.
According to ANRPC, the harvesting and primary processing of rubber in Thailand are “severely affected by acute shortage of labourers0”, while “a burst" in cases of Covid-19 Kerala has impacted Indian production.
In terms of demand, NR consumption fell 11.7% year-on-year to 8.151 million tonnes during the eight months to end of August.
However, ANRPC anticipates demand to “perform relatively better” over the remainder of 2020, due to economic stimuli in many countries and “a faster-than-expected” economic recovery in China.
Over the four months to end of 2020, consumption is expected to contract by 1.8% compared to the same period last year.
For the full-year, consumption outlook was marginally scaled up to 12.611 million tonnes, though still 8.4% lower than the level recorded last year..
In its previously issued outlook, ANRPC had anticipated demand to come in at 12.544 million tonnes by the year-end.