In April, the NR consumption forecast for 2020 to 13.016 million tonne which is down 5.1% from the previous year.
Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has trimmed its world NR production and consumption estimates for the second time in a row in the past 60 days. However, the Kuala Lumpur-based global body does sight green shoots in the additional demand that Covid-19 has generated in the manufacturing of glove and other rubber-based health care products.
In the foreword to ANRPC’s monthly bulletin for April, RB Premadasa, secretary general, ANRPC, said that “the outlook on world production in 2020 is revised down to 13.433 million tonne, down 2.3% from the previous year. The revised figure is 679,000 tonne lower compared to the outlook presented a month ago which was 14.112 million tonne at 2.2% growth”.
In its March bulletin, too, ANRPC had announced downsizing of its earlier estimates, warning of further rollbacks soon. In April, the NR consumption forecast for 2020 to 13.016 million tonne which is down 5.1% from the previous year.
The revised figure is 516,000 tonne lower than 13.532 million tonne forecast in the March report. Amidst the bleak prospects, Premadasa finds hope that “the pandemic has generated additional demand for NR in the manufacturing of glove and other rubber-based health care products, especially in Malaysia and Thailand, and this is helping the consumption sector in partly offsetting the fall in the demand for NR from auto-tyre manufacturing sector.”
At the same time, rubber futures on Indian Commodity Exchange, which ended marginally positive due to partial reopening of some tyre units and rubber glove factories, are likely to witness long liquidations ahead of the expiry next week. This may drag rubber future prices lower towards Rs 106 per kilo, as the contract tenure winds up. The May contract at ICEX was trading at `112 per kg, up 1 .7% from previous day.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has put the entire world in a standstill with the lockdowns, movement control, social distancing protocols, and widespread closures implemented by governments across the world, they have impacted the natural rubber industry in multiple ways,” said Premadasa.