KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Oct. 15, 2012)—Malaysian natural rubber growers produced 72,428 metric tons of rubber in August 2012, down 14.9 percent from the previous month, according to the latest figures from the Malaysian Bureau of Statistics.
Compared with August 2011, August 2012 NR production was down 24.3 percent, the agency said.
Malaysian NR exports amounted to 62,458 tons, down 0.4 percent from July 2012 but 22.4 percent from August 2011. Standard Malaysian Rubber accounted for 94.9 percent of the export total, of which 53.1 percent was SMR 20, or tire-grade rubber.
China was the biggest customer for Malaysian NR in August 2012, buying 43.2 percent of the total shipments. Germany was second at 13.4 percent, the U.S. third at 4.7 percent and Iran fourth at 3.9 percent.
Imports of NR to Malaysia totaled 77,409 tons in August 2012, up 2 percent over July 2012 and 55 percent over August 2011. Some 47.8 percent of the imports were Standard Rubber, while 33.9 percent was latex concentrate, the agency said.
Thailand was the source of 46.9 percent of Malaysia's imported rubber, followed by Vietnam at 28.1 percent.
Malaysia announced major cutbacks in NR shipments in August, as part of the International Rubber Consortium's effort to shore up prices by restricting supply. This move caused NR prices to soar to four-month highs the week of Oct. 1, but prices slipped again the following week.