Kuala Lumpur – Major natural rubber (NR) producers Thailand and India have revised down their production figures for 2020 on the back of the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and bad weather.
In its September update, Thailand lowered its full year outlook to 4.47 million tonnes for the full year, down by 332,000 tonnes compared its forecast in August, said the ANRPC in its monthly NR update 14 Oct.
The revised outlook represents a 7.7% decline from the previous year as against a 0.9% anticipated fall reported a month ago.
According to ANRPC, the harvesting and primary processing of rubber in Thailand are “severely affected by acute shortage of labourers.”
Migrant labourers from neighbouring countries and those from other provinces within the country find it difficult to reach back and resume the various farm management activities including tapping and primary processing, the ANRPC report said.
Aggravating the situation, tropical storm ‘Noul’ damaged rubber plantations in several provinces of Thailand in the last week of September, while storm ‘Sinlaku’ caused flash floods in northern Thailand in August.
For the second year in a row, the Pestalotiopsis fungal leaf disease is also expected to impact yield performance.
In India, the production anticipated in 2020 was scaled down by 42,000 tonnes to 668,000 tonnes in September.
The revised outlook is 4.8% lower than the previous year’s level, and 1.1% lower than the anticipated increase reported a month ago.
India’s NR sector, according to ANRPC, is impacted by “a burst in the number daily new cases of Covid-19 infections in the State of Kerala since the beginning of September.”
In addition, the abnormal leaf fall caused by the outbreak of Phytophthora leaf disease during July and August has impacted output.