The production figure of natural rubber (NR) produced by nine producing countries under the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries which constitutes approximately 92% of global NR production has indicated a drop in supply. For the first half of 2014, the production of ANRPC member countries decreased 1.6% from 4.917 million tonnes in 2013 to 4.837 million tonnes in 2014.
In line with the actual production data for the first half of the year, IRCo estimates that the global NR production for 2014 would be 11.843 million tonnes which is 2.3% lower than the total global production for 2013.
On the other hand, the global NR consumption for 2014 is projected to grow at a higher rate than NR production, supported by the following factors :-
- The 4.1% upward revision of China’s provisional annual NR consumption in 2014 from 4.21 million tonnes in 2013 to 4.54 million tonnes (Source: ANRPC Natural Trend & Statistics in August 2014)
- China’s import of NR is expected to increase in 2014. As at August 2014, the China’s actual NR import has reached 1,739,378 tonnes which is 16.95% higher than the actual NR import in 2013 (Year to Date)
- Steady increase in automobile sales in major markets i.e. China, USA, Eurozone and Japan. Automobile sales for the eight months of 2014 (January – August) in those markets have increased within the range of 4.0 – 7.7% as follows :-
Judging from the current global NR supply and demand situations, IRCo estimates that the global NR stocks for 2014 would be within the range of 2.3 – 2.5 million tonnes, way lower than the estimates forecast by IRSG at 3.208 million tonnes (Global Forecasting Service Report: May 2014) and The Rubber Economist at 3.79 million tonnes (as reported by Bloomberg on 18 August 2014).