The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), recently released its report “Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, October- November 2020”.

The ANRPC says the world production of natural rubber (NR) fell by 8.5%, year-over-year, to 10.098 million tons during Jan-Oct 2020. Expecting a 10.8%, year-over-year, drop during Nov-Dec 2020, the production during the full year 2020 is expected at 12.597 million tons, down 9.0% from the previous year. ANRPC’s revised outlook represents a downward revision by 304,000 tons or 2.2 percentage points from the outlook for 2020 which ANRPC had reported in September 2020. The outlook reported in Sep 2020 was 12.901 million tons at 6.8% fall. In 2021, the world production is anticipated to recover by posting an 8.6% increase to 13.678 million tons. Even if it increases at the anticipated 8.6% rate, the output in 2021 will remain lower than that in 2019 (13.842 million tons) or 2018 (13. 839 million tons).

The report highlights that the world consumption of NR fell by 8.6%, year-over-year, to 10.496 million tons during Jan-Oct 2020. Accounting an anticipated 1.2% increase during Nov-Dec, the likely world consumption during the full year 2020 is expected at 12.811 million tons by representing a 6.9% fall from the previous year. The revised outlook represents an upward revision by 200,000 tons or 1.5 percentage points compared to the outlook reported by ANRPC in September 2020. The outlook for 2020 as reported in September 2020 was 12.611 million tons at 8.4% decline. In 2021, the world consumption is anticipated to make a recovery by increasing at 4.9% rate to 13.436 million tons. Despite growing at the anticipated 4.9% rate, the consumption in 2021 will not reach the quantity consumed in 2019 (13.768 million tons) or in 2018 (13.898 million tons).

The report stresses that natural rubber market exhibited extreme dynamism during October and November 2020. The prices, both in the futures and physical markets, rose steeply during October, undergone a correction during the first few days of November, and subsequently took a recovery phase through the end of November. The analysis given in this combined issue of the “Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics” for October and November 2020 will enable the users to get a closer picture and clear understanding of the price movements and key drivers in the Shanghai, SICOM, and Osaka futures exchanges and the physical markets of TSR, RSS, and latex with reference to the Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Kottayam markets. The period under review (October and November) witnessed the high sensitivity of NR prices to the supply disruptions caused by climate change, extreme weather, and the continued spread of fungal leaf diseases of rubber trees.

Key global events and geopolitics had influenced NR prices, both in the futures and physical markets, during October and November. Sentiment in the market during the two months was influenced by the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic especially in the U.S. and Europe, reported success in the development of the COVID-19 vaccines by global pharmaceutical majors, outcome of the U.S. presidential election, depreciation of the U.S, dollar against a basket of currencies, and developments in the crude oil sector.

October and November were hectic months for the ANRPC. The meetings of ANRPC’s Task Force on NR Price, Expert Group on NR Price Stabilization, Working Group on Sustainable Natural Rubber, Information & Statistics Committee (ISC), Industry Matters Committee (IMC), Executive Committee, and the Assembly were held during October and November, which were virtually attended by all Member Governments.

Article by ANRPC.