World rubber production grows in 2017.
Natural rubber production grew worldwide to about 13.3 million tons in 2017 up from 12.4 million tons in 2016, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) said in its latest statistics report. In comparison, the group said global consumption of NR increased 1.4% to 12.9 million tons during the year, creating a surplus.
In December, natural rubber prices showed signs of recovery based on the upward trend that developed in crude oil prices and an agreement reached by International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) members to cut NR production for several months. In 2017, ANRPC members addressed some of the challenges facing the rubber market by implementing measures to expand the use of NR.
The group provided low-interest loans, created subsidies for replanting, and instituted other measures that specifically help rubber smallholders. To support NR prices, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed in December to suspend exports of 350,000 tons of natural rubber (NR) until March 2018 under the latest framework of the International Tripartite Rubber Council’s (ITRC) Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS). The group is also seeking to increase consumption within the three countries through greater use of NR in the transportation, infrastructure, sports, defense, health and consumer goods, roads, railway and shipping industries. Members of the ANRPC produce almost 90% of the world’s NR supply.