KUALA LUMPUR—The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries has revised downward its global production and consumption figures for natural rubber in 2020 after a sharp decline in demand in the first two months of the year.
The association said it expects NR production to grow by 2.7 percent year-on-year to 14.17 million metric tons in 2020, compared to a previous estimate of 14.28 million tons announced in its annual market report on Jan. 31.
While the first two months of the year have witnessed a 5.2 percent drop in production, the global output is anticipated to grow due to an expected expansion of total mature area within ANRPC member states.
The ANRPC also lowered its estimates for the global consumption of NR, expecting demand to rise 1.2 percent to 13.82 in 2020, compared to the original estimates of 2.7 percent growth.
While the signing of the U.S.-China trade deals in mid-January renewed hopes for demand from China, the outbreak of coronavirus clouded expectations for the full year.
"The world consumption fell by 18.6 percent year-over-year during the first two months of 2020 as China's manufacturing has been severely disrupted following the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic," ANRPC said in a March 9 market update.
The association also expects the world consumption outlook for 2020 to be further revised down in view of the COVID-19-related anticipated global economic slump.