KUALA LUMPUR—Natural rubber production and consumption registered year-on-year growth in the first two months of 2018, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries.
Production rose 4.3 percent to 2.2 million metric tons, while demand grew 7.5 percent year-on-year to 2.0 million tons for the period, the ANRPC said March 22.
During the first two weeks of February, the association said, NR prices across the key physical markets were hit by a fall in crude oil prices, strengthening of the Japanese Yen and global equity market trends.
"Nevertheless, the NR prices showed (signs) of improvement and posted an upward trend in price toward the end of February 2018," ANRPC said.
The improvements, ANRPC said, reflect recovery in both crude oil prices and global equity markets.
The association went on to predict a slowing of NR production throughout the coming months, citing the seasonal rubber tree 'leaf-fall period' in most of member countries as the driving factor.