This paper draws on the strengths of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) as the leading provider of economic and statistical information on the world rubber industry. The presentation, essentially non-technical in nature, provides a concise overview of the broad trends in production, consumption, trade and prices in the natural rubber latex (NRL) segment of the rubber industry at the national, regional and global level. Furthermore, in order to put NRL into context, its position relative to other types of NR is considered. While the main thrust of the paper is concentrated around NRL, the presentation will briefly touch on synthetic rubber lattices (SRL), particularly with respect to end uses and perceived material competition. One important conclusion drawn from the paper is that consumption of both NRL and SRL is greatest in producing countries, reflecting the existence of policies aimed at providing value-addition and high transportation costs.