Rubber output not as large as growth target

Updated: 2011-02-28 13:17

By Supunnabul Suwannakij (China Daily)

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BANGKOK - Output of natural rubber from so-called key producing countries is forecast to grow 4.8 percent to 9.77 million metric tons in 2011, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries said in a monthly bulletin. The group's members account for 92 percent of global production.

The forecast was below a growth target by member governments of 8 percent with an estimated output of 10 million tons, assuming favorable weather conditions and a continuation of high prices this year, it said.

Natural-rubber supply from key growers may expand 6 percent in the first quarter as high prices attracted farmers to tap trees during the low-output season, the bulletin said.

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Demand for natural rubber in China, India and Malaysia, which accounts for 48 percent of global usage, is expected to increase this year, the bulletin said. Demand in China, the largest user, may gain 9.1 percent to 3.6 million tons; India's usage may gain 5 percent to 991,000 tons and consumption in Malaysia may rise 7 percent to 490,000 tons.

Rubber futures in Tokyo have gained 15 percent this year, extending last year's 50 percent rally, as rising car sales led by China and India boost demand. The price reached an all-time high of 537.7 yen a kilogram on Feb 18.

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