KUALA LUMPUR—Bad weather and the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted major natural rubber producers Thailand and India to revise down their production figures for 2020.
In its September update, Thailand lowered its full year outlook to 4.47 million metric tons for the full year, down by 332,000 tons compared with its forecast in August, the ANRPC said Oct. 14.
The revised outlook represents a 7.7 percent decline from the previous year as opposed to a 0.9 percent anticipated fall reported a month ago.
The harvesting and primary processing of rubber in Thailand are "severely affected by acute shortage of laborers," the ANRPC said.
Migrant laborers from neighboring countries and other provinces within the country find it difficult to resume the various farm management activities, including tapping and primary processing, the ANRPC report said.
Aggravating the situation, tropical storm Noul damaged rubber plantations in several provinces of Thailand in the last week of September, while storm Sinlaku caused flash floods in northern Thailand in August.
For the second year in a row, the Pestalotiopsis fungal leaf disease also is expected to impact yield performance.
In India, the production anticipated in 2020 was scaled down by 42,000 tons to 668,000 tons in September.
The revised outlook is 4.8 percent lower than the previous year's level, and 1.1 percent lower than the anticipated increase reported a month ago.
India's NR sector, according to ANRPC, is impacted by "a burst in the number of daily new cases of COVID-19 infections in the State of Kerala since the beginning of September."
In addition, the abnormal leaf fall caused by the outbreak of Phytophthora leaf disease during July and August has impacted output.