KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Feb. 24, 2009)—Malaysia's production of natural rubber in 2008 was 10.1 percent down from the previous year, at 1.08 million tons.
Production in December 2008 was 62,100 metric tons—32 percent down from December 2007, and 11.6 percent down on the previous month.
Total exports for the year amounted to 916,000 tons, down from 1.02 million tons in 2007.
Exports for December were 34,900, down by almost half from December 2007 and down by 16.8 percent compared with November.
China led the list of countries receiving rubber exports from Malaysia with the U.S. coming in third.
Imports also fell in December, roughly in proportion to exports. Malaysia imported 35,500 tons of rubber in December 2008, down by half from the same period a year ago and down by 24.2 percent on the November figure. Thailand contributed 76.7 percent of all imports.
The average price of latex in December 2008 was 37 percent lower than in December 2007.