SINGAPORE — Global demand for rubber should rise about 2.5 percent in 2019 to more than 30 million metric tons, according to the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG).
The IRSG's forecast — based on the International Monetary Fund's world outlook for the rubber industry and other scenarios — represents a slight drop in demand growth for rubber from a 3.2-percent consumption increase last year.
The Singapore-based industry trade group foresees growth in demand for both natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR) of 2.6 and 2.4 percent, respectively.
The IRSG did not elaborate in a brief statement published Dec. 28 on the reasons for its forecast.
According to the IRSG data, global rubber consumption increased by around to 29.3 million tons in 2018. NR growth was pegged at 4.9 percent, to 13.9 million tons, and SR growth at 1.7 percent, to 15.4 million tons.
World NR and SR demand is set to increase to 14.2 million tons and 15.8 million tons, respectively, this year.
Singapore-based IRSG is an inter-governmental organization composed of 36 rubber producing nations and 120 consuming stakeholders. The member nations are: Republic of Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, The European Union (28 member states), India, Japan, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
The U.S. withdrew from the IRSG as a member nation in 2011, but the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association is a member.
IRSG publications can be purchased by non-members via the group's website.