KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Global demand for natural rubber grew 5 percent year-on-year to nearly 7 million metric tons in the first half of 2018, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries.
In the six months to end of June, supply of natural rubber rose 4.5 percent, to 6.2 million tons, leaving a shortfall in production of 746,000 ton, ANRPC's latest figures show.
In its July 30 monthly update, the association also revised its full-year market outlook; Production now is anticipated to increase 5.2 percent to 14 million tons, and demand to rise 5.7 percent to 14.1 million tonnes.
As for NR prices in June, the ANRPC said the "favorable supply-demand fundamentals" in NR market were not reflected in the physical nor futures rubber markets. However, they were influenced by external factors such as the development in the crude oil industry and the trade tensions between U.S. and China.
According to ANRPC, prices at the Shanghai Futures Exchange have been bearish, partly due to the sharp devaluation in Chinese yuan since April and a high level of rubber inventories.