SINGAPORE—Global rubber demand is expected to fall 12.6 percent year-over-year to 25.2 million metric tons in 2020, according to the latest figures by the International Rubber Study Group.
The IRSG linked the decline to the global outbreak of COVID-19 in its July 2020 edition of World Rubber Industry Outlook, published July 17.
Under a scenario based on International Monetary Fund forecasts, containment measures—including countries being locked down, closure of factories and retail businesses, and a limited flow of labor and goods—are the key contributors to the 2020 downward trend.
The scenario expects global rubber demand to rebound by 7.9 percent in 2021, driven by a 6.9 percent recovery in the tire sector and a 9.3 percent growth in the non-tire sector.
According to the WRIO, world natural rubber demand declined by 1 percent in 2019 to 13.6 million tons. Under the IMF scenario the growth is expected to decline by 11 percent in 2020, reaching 12.1 million tons.
World synthetic rubber demand also fell 1 percent in 2019 to 15.2 million tons. Under the IMF scenario, consumption is expected to decline by 14 percent in 2020 to 13.1 million tons. Set for an 8 percent growth for 2021, SR demand is forecast to recover slightly faster than that of natural rubber, which is expected to see a 7.8 percent rebound next year.