KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — World demand for natural rubber (NR) during the first nine months of 2017 exceeded world NR output by approximately 400,000 metric tons, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).
NR production stood at 9.24 million metric tons during the January-to-September period, compared with demand totaling 9.64 million tons, according to the September 2017 issue of Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, the official monthly publication of the ANRPC.
Negative factors such as high rubber inventories, a strong Japanese yen and developments in the crude oil market dampened NR prices during the period despite the supply shortfall, ANRPC Secretary General Nguyen Ngoc Bich said in an editorial dated Oct. 10.
NR prices recovered in August but plunged again the last two weeks of September because of high inventories and a broad global commodity selloff, according to Mr. Nguyen.
Average NR production growth among ANRPC member countries was 5.4 percent, compared with the 8.77 million tons produced in January-September 2016, according to the ANRPC.
Cambodia had the highest growth rate, at 31.5 percent, while Thailand, the world's largest NR producer, had the lowest growth rate at only 1.3 percent, the association said.
The ANRPC anticipates total 2017 NR world supply of 12.9 million tons, up 5.1 percent from the 2016 total of 12.3 million tons. By comparison, world NR supply rose only 0.1 percent in 2016 from the 2015 figure of 12.3 million tons, the association said.