KUALA LUMPUR (Jan. 14, 2011)—Production of natural rubber fell 22.3 percent in Malaysia in November 2010, to 73,100 metric tons, according to the latest figures from the Malaysian Department of Statistics.
However, for January-November 2010, production was still up 9,916 metric tons compared with the same period in 2009, the department said.
Malaysian NR exports were up 6.8 percent for the month and 28 percent for the year to date, the department said. China was Malaysia's biggest customer, accounting for 53.2 percent of NR purchases; Germany, the next-biggest customer, was far behind with 9.1 percent.
The Malaysian government figures were in line with recent upheavals in the NR market, thanks to adverse weather conditions in Southeast Asia and increased demand, especially from China. NR prices have reached record highs; the Jan. 12 price of Standard Indonesian Rubber 20—the grade most often used by U.S. tire makers—was $2.41 per pound free on board, at the port of origin.