IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Natural Rubber And Gums – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.
In the beginning of 2021, demand for natural rubber spiked and prices for rubber increased due to a quick rebound in China’s tire manufacturing and the heightened need for latex gloves during the pandemic. Rubber production is projected to climb up this year in line with rising demand, slowing down the price growth. There is a risk that droughts in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia will create a supply shortage in the market and enable the prices to soar again.
Key Trends and Insights
According to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) and the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), global demand for natural rubber will grow by 7% y-o-y in 2021. This gain will be possible due to heightened demand from the rebounding rubber and tire industries as well as the increased need for latex gloves due to the pandemic. Production is projected to rise by 6% and balance out supply and demand and as a result, maintaining prices stability. At the same time, there is a risk that possible droughts in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia could prompt a decrease in rubber tree yield and threaten a shortfall in the market.
At the beginning of 2021, renewed demand from the rubber and tire industries in China caused prices for natural rubber to skyrocket. According to the World Bank, in May 2021 the average price for Rubber RSS3 reached $2.29 per kg, surpassing the 2020 yearly average of $1.73 per kg. The price for Rubber TSR20 rose to $1.69 per kg with a yearly average of $1.33 per kg in 2020.
Unlike in China, the U.S. is experiencing a slower recovery in the tire industry but the rebound will also bolster the global market for natural rubber. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association predicts that as of year-end 2021, shipments of tires in the U.S. will grow by 4.1% in comparison to 2020 but their overall amount won’t reach 2019 levels.
High demand for latex gloves during the pandemic will be one of the key factors leading to expansion for the natural rubber market this year. In 2020, a shock in demand caused latex gloves and medical equipment exports from Malaysia to increase by 95.3%. As the pandemic winds down, this element will gradually recede into the background but should remain influential for at least another few years.
Global Natural Rubber Consumption
The global natural rubber and gum market rose sharply to $24.1B in 2020 (IndexBox estimates), increasing by 7.6% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, indirect taxes, intermediary margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).
The countries with the highest volumes of natural rubber and gum consumption in 2020 were Thailand (4.6M tonnes), Indonesia (3.5M tonnes) and China (1.4M tonnes), with a combined 60% share of global consumption. Malaysia, Viet Nam, India and Cote d’Ivoire lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 26%.
From 2012 to 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of natural rubber and gum consumption, amongst the key consuming countries, was attained by Cote d’Ivoire, while natural rubber and gum consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
In value terms, Thailand ($6.1B), Indonesia ($5.2B) and China ($1.8B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2020, together accounting for 54% of the global market. Malaysia, India, Viet Nam and Cote d’Ivoire lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 24%.
The countries with the highest levels of natural rubber and gum per capita consumption in 2020 were Thailand (65 kg per person), Malaysia (38 kg per person) and Cote d’Ivoire (28 kg per person).
Global Natural Rubber Imports
In 2020, purchases abroad of natural rubber and gums decreased by -0.2% to 1.6M tonnes. In value terms, natural rubber and gum imports amounted to $1.8B in 2020.
Malaysia (701K tonnes) and China (570K tonnes) prevails in natural rubber and gum import structure, together constituting 77% of total imports. The following importers – the U.S. (37K tonnes) and the Netherlands (25K tonnes) – each finished at a 3.8% share of total imports.
In value terms, China ($634M), Malaysia ($629M) and the U.S. ($52M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2020, with a combined 75% share of the global imports.
Source: IndexBox Platform