BANGKOK—Major natural rubber producers Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand expect production to lag for the rest of 2020 and into early 2021, senior International Tripartite Rubber Council officials announced at the group's virtual meeting last month.
Officials blamed "erratic weather, declining in tapping activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Pestalotiopsis leaf fall disease."
Natural rubber supply will be further constrained by a shortage of tappers in Thailand and Malaysia and the winter season in South Sumatera in the Southern Hemisphere.
Consumption is anticipated to increase as China, the biggest consumer of NR, accelerates its economic activities following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The trio expects to see increased demand for "compounded and mixtures rubbers" exports to China, as Beijing continues to provide incentives for the revival of the local automotive industry.
During the ITRC meeting, member states pledged to implement "relevant measures" to ensure the well-being of rubber smallholders.
"ITRC strongly believes that fair and remunerative price levels will benefit all stakeholders in the NR industry, in particular for rubber smallholders," they said.