By Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain News Service
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Nov. 14, 2014) — A leading rubber expert said that the decline in natural rubber (NR) prices “is likely to stop and perhaps stabilize at a lower level.”
Addressing the Global Rubber Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, recently, Prachaya Jumpasut of the Rubber Economist said the relatively low prices of the market and improvements in Asia/Pacific could help stimulate NR demand. He expressed hope that the declining trend would stop.
Mr. Jumpasut noted that NR production had slowed due to low prices and hangover stocks, saying that the stocks were expected to increase but not as high as previously expected.
Addressing the conference, the industry expert called for NR-producing countries to look for new areas of adding value to products to increase earning.
At the conference, John Baffes of the World Bank echoed similar concern for rubber industry, saying the market experienced a sharp decline in recent years.
Most agricultural prices declined, he said, as supply conditions improved and stocks returned to historical norms.
“For industrial agricultural commodities (notably cotton and natural rubber), the weakening in global economic conditions has taken a toll,” Mr. Baffes said.
This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.