BANTUL, Indonesia (May 31) — The catastrophic earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Java May 27 won´t have much of an effect on the nation's natural rubber production, according to sources close to the rubber trade.
Java, the most populous of Indonesia's islands, grows little NR compared with other islands such as Sumatra, they said. Because of strong demand, dwindling supplies and increased speculation, the price of Standard Indonesian Rubber 20—the variety of NR most often used by U.S. tire manufacturers—now hovers at around $1 a pound.
"All the damage to the market has already been done, as far as prices go," said a source close to the trade who asked to remain anonymous. The death toll from the 6.3-magnitude quake passed 6,200 today, with some 30,000 people injured and 650,000 left homeless.