SINGAPORE — Global rubber demand is expected to fall 12.6% in 2020 from 2019 to 25.2 million metric tons, according to the latest figures by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG).
The IRSG linked the decline to the global outbreak of COVID-19 in its July 2020 edition of World Rubber Industry Outlook (WRIO), published July 17.
Under a scenario based on IMF forecasts, containment measures including countries being locked down, closure of factories and retail businesses and a limited flow of labor and goods are the key contributors to the 2020 downward trend.
The scenario expects global rubber demand to rebound by 7.9% in 2021 driven by a 6.9% recovery in the tire sector and a 9.3% growth in the non-tire sector.
The IRSG said world natural rubber (NR) demand declined 1% in 2019 to 13.6 million tons. Under the IMF scenario the growth is expected to decline by 11% in 2020, reaching 12.1 million metric tons.
World synthetic rubber (SR) demand also fell 1% in 2019 to 15.2 million tons. Under the IMF scenario, consumption is expected to decline 14% in 2020, reaching 13.1 million tons.
Set for an 8% growth for 2021, the SR demand is forecast to recover slightly faster than that of natural rubber, which is expected to see a 7.8% rebound next year.