The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) is happy to release its Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics Jan-Feb 2020.
The world produced 13.804 million tonnes of natural rubber (NR) in 2019, down 0.4%, as per the updated estimates available from individual producing countries. The production is anticipated to increase 2.7% to 14.177 million tonnes in 2020 according to the revised outlook. The first two months of 2020 has witnessed an annualized 5.2% drop in world production.
Based on the updated estimates, the world consumption of NR fell by 1.4% to 13.661 million tonnes in 2019. In 2020, the consumption is anticipated at 13.824 million tonnes, up 1.2%, according to the revised outlook. Strikingly, the world consumption fell by 18.6%, year-over-year, during the first two months of 2020 as China’s manufacturing has been severely disrupted following the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic. The world consumption outlook for 2020 is likely to be revised down further in view of the anticipated global economic slump arising from the COVID-19 epidemic which has already spread to around 90 countries.
The market sentiments since mid-January have been dominated by the concerns about the impact of the virus epidemic on global economy as well as the demand outlook for NR. The last week of February has seen global stocks plummeting and investors seeking shelter in safe assets amid heightened concerns about the economic impact of the virus outbreak. Although it is early to assess the impact on the global growth outlook, forecasting models suggest that the global economic growth in 2020 could be two percentage points lower, at around 1.0%.
As far as commodities and stocks remain fragile, speculative investors are expected to seek shelter in safe assets. The worsening state of the global economy, developments in commodities and stocks, and the demand outlook for NR, do not favour NR prices gaining strength in the short-term. A trend reversal can be expected only by the turn of the first quarter.
This combined issue of “Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics” for the months of January and February 2020, provides the actual figures up to Oct 2019, preliminary estimates of Nov 2019 to Jan 2020, and anticipated figures of Feb to May 2020. The publication from Mar 2020 onwards will be released in the respective months itself.
ANRPC has received very good support from all member governments in the effort to gather the most updated estimates and forecasts. In a marked improvement from the previous months, all governments have reported the estimates and forecasts by ensuring the quality and consistency of the figures. The renewed enthusiasm and commitment shown by all the statistical correspondents are well appreciated.
ANRPC has postponed its international Training in Rubber Market Analysis and Research (R-MART 2020) which was scheduled to be held from 17 to 20 March in Bangkok. The new dates will be announced once the COVID-19 epidemic is settled. The participation is open to the private sector and non-members of ANRPC on payment of a fee.
ANRPC has participated in the “India Rubber Meet 2020” which was jointly organized in Chennai from 28 to 29 Feb 2020, by around 25 stakeholder organizations representing the whole value chain of the Indian rubber industry. The interested subscribers of this publication can get the copy of the presentations made by ANRPC at the event by writing to the ANRPC Secretariat.
Once again, we solicit your valuable suggestions for making the subsequent issues more user oriented.
Mr. R. B. Premadasa