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iconRubber market outlook of ASEAN Rubber Business Council [   October  2018 ]


The Thai Rubber Association (TRA) plays an important role in ASEAN rubber trade. We assume the chairmanship and are a member of ASEAN Rubber Business Council (ARBC), including member associations from 6 countries namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ARBC convenes meetings regularly. Recently, Mr. Supadetch Ongsakul, TRA Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Piyaporn Saelim, TRA Manager and Mr. Prasit Petnoosed, TRA Officer attended the 21st meeting of Economics and Statistics Committee of ARBC on 6 October 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The meeting of Economics and Statistics Committee of ASEAN Rubber Business Council exchanged market views and trends on short-term basis to understand problems and be well-prepared in dealing effectively with risks. The meeting discussed the following matters. It appears that NR price has continued its level below USDC 150 during the past 3 quarters of 2018. The decline in NR prices are due to the surge in world NR production, high NR stocks in China and slow demand witnessed in major NR consuming countries namely China particularly. According to IMF, growth in China is projected to slow from 6.9% in 2017 to 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019 amid the worries over the impact of U.S.-China trade tensions to the global economic growth, which is also vulnerable to inflation and currency problems. Market players will continue adopting ‘wait and see’ attitude. In addition, NR prices are also influenced by speculative activities in SHFE. 

However, certain positive factors supported rubber prices against further decline. Currently, major producing countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have experienced declining exports. According to ANRPC, world rubber consumption during the first seven months of 2018 has exceeded the global production by 786,000 tons due to low rubber price being not incentive to smallholders and unfavourable weather conditions. In addition, demand for natural rubber in China and India will continue to remain steady and promising owing to their improved and fast growing automobile and tyre industries as well as other rubber goods. It is found that rubber prices are mostly influenced by the external factors. However, internal factors in respective countries play a part in supporting the price. These include optimal output control, promotion of domestic consumption and value added rubber products.  

In closing, members of ASEAN Rubber Business Council still have positive outlook on rubber market. Although rubber prices are influenced by world market mechanism, with continued awareness and follow-up, we can deal with problems and adapt to changes effectively.

Mr. Chaiyos Sincharoenkul


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