LONDON (Nov. 22)—Natural rubber prices are in for double-digit increases the next two years, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based business forecasting group. Despite slowing consumption of natural rubber in key market areas, notably China, the EIU estimates NR prices will end the year 16.4 percent higher than in 2001, followed by rises of 17.2 and 25.2 percent for the next two years. The EIU predicts world demand for rubber in 2002 will reach 7.04 million metric tons, just 0.7 percent higher than last year, in its latest quarterly report, "World commodity forecasts: industrial raw materials." The report predicts market growth of 2.7 and 4 percent for 2003 and 2004, respectively.
EIU predicts NR price increases in '03 and '04
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