The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) is happy to release its Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics March 2020.
The period since the beginning of March has seen almost the whole world coming to a standstill as the COVID-19 virus assumed a global pandemic with no certain end in sight. While the epidemic started receding in China by mid-March, it spread to several other countries, including major natural rubber (NR) consuming countries and regions. The second half of March has seen several countries declaring emergency and enforcing movement control and total closed-down in the efforts to reduce the epidemic spread. The situation has led to closure of manufacturing plants by auto-tyre companies across countries and regions. While the rubber good manufacturing sector in China started resuming operations by mid-March, the rest of the world witnessed the manufacturing sector getting severely affected. Surveys conducted by reputed agencies among economists and businessmen indicate that the global economy is entering into a recession as negative growth is expected in the first two quarters of 2020.
The world consumption of NR fell 19.6%, year-over-year, during the first quarter of 2020, as per the preliminary estimates and forecasts of individual countries. The consumption anticipated during the second quarter is down 1.5% compared with the same quarter a year ago.
The world production of NR increased by 1.8%, year-over-year, during the first quarter of 2020, according to preliminary estimates and forecasts of individual countries. The production anticipated during the second quarter is up 3.6% compared with the same quarter a year ago.
The preliminary estimates and forecasts of both the production and consumption during the first two quarters are subject to further downward revision. This is because the impact of the slump in NR prices and the movement controls measures initiated since the second half of March are not fully incorporated in the figures presented above. The prices of NR (SMR20 in Kuala Lumpur) suffered 18.5% fall during the period from 21 February through 24 March.
It gives me immense pleasure to inform that we are finally successful in releasing the publication for March 2020 in time. The issue for all the succeeding months will be published in the corresponding months itself. This is a marked improvement because the publication used to be delayed in the past by several months. Moreover, the publication’s coverage as well as the depth of the analysis have been improved in the attempt to provide the most authentic and the reliable data and analysis in the shortest time. I take this opportunity to extend the gratitude of ANRPC to the statistical correspondents in member governments for the enthusiastic support received despite the difficulties caused by the movement control and closure of offices.
Before I conclude, let me wish everyone safety and calmness as the world is passing through an unusual difficult time.
Mr. R. B. Premadasa