In a statement posted on the IRCo's website, Ms. Ahmad said, “Our analysis is that we don't have as much stock as other organisations say we do… there are discrepancies.
“The decrease of natural rubber production,…particularly the production in Thailand and India, would lead to a possible global natural rubber shortage in 2015.”
The IRCo represents countries that produce nearly 70 percent of NR globally.
Low rubber prices and slow demand as well as bad weather conditions have led to a drop in NR production in 2015, the group said.
Prachaya Jumpasut, editor of Rubber Economist, also predicted that both NR and SR global balances may show a deficit this year, “but a surplus is expected for the next two years to take the stocks to another record high.”
On pricing however, Ms. Ahmad expressed optimism, saying prices were likely to “gradually improve” over the remainder of the year due to steadier global economy and efforts by the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) to keep year-over-year production unchanged or even reducing it.
By contrast, Mr. Jumpasut's quarterly report has predicted a more “pessimistic” view in terms of prices in the next two years because of “a possibility of slower growth in China and Asia/Pacific.”
“Synthetic rubber may continue to show slightly higher growth rate than NR for this year and the next before the trend reverses in 2017,” said the report.
According to Mr. Jumpasut, the decline in the world NR output during the first half of this year may turn around by year-end.
Ms. Ahmad previously was director general of the Malaysian Rubber Board.
Among the duties on her agenda at the IRCo are intensifying efforts for a closer collaboration with other NR-producing countries in the region, particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Shahrzad Pourriahi is a reporter for European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business.