The monthly bulletin of Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, March 2017 is now available for our subscribers.
During the first quarter of 2017, ANRPC member countries are estimated to have produced 2.499 million tonnes of natural rubber (NR), up 2.0% from the same period a year ago. Consumption of NR by ANRPC member countries alone during the same quarter was 1.951 million tonnes and this represented 78% of their total production. Although NR prices sharply fell since mid-February, sentiments slightly improved by the end of March due to improved economic outlook of the US and Europe, better-than-expected automobile sales in China and recovery in oil prices.
During the second quarter of 2017 (April to June), the production from ANRPC Member Countries is anticipated to grow by 5.8% to 2.491 million tonnes from 2.355 million tonnes during the same quarter in the previous year. Production is expected to remain low in all countries except Indonesia, until May 2017 due to the wintering off-season which has begun in February/March with variation across countries.
Coming to demand, the outlook has improved for China in view of withdrawal of the US tariff on tyres of heavy commercial vehicles originating from China. Improved economic outlook in the US and Europe suggests possibility of faster growth in demand for NR from these non-ANRPC regions. Besides a balanced demand-supply situation anticipated for Q2 2017, natural rubber market during the quarter is expected to gain from possible improvement in crude oil prices as OPEC is planning for an extension of the curtailment programme in association with major oil producing countries outside the OPEC. Moreover, favourable trends prevailing in entire commodity markets is expected to be mirrored in NR market as well.
In the attempt to provide the most updated trends and emerging developments in natural rubber sector, ANRPC provides through this issue of Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics the figures of supply and demand during the period up to March 2017 and anticipated figures for April to June 2017 and for the year 2017, covering all ANRPC Member Countries. Moreover, a brief account of current developments in natural rubber market and signals on emerging market trends are also provided.
Before I conclude, I place on record sincere gratitude of the ANRPC to its statistical correspondents in Member Governments for timely making available required data and forecasts. I also thank all esteemed users of the publication for the continued support.
Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Bich