SINGAPORE (Reuters): Global natural rubber output could rise 3.6 per cent to 10.388 million tonnes in 2012, but growth is expected to be slower than this year as falling prices affect yield, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries said on Tuesday.
The ANRPC, whose members account for 92 per cent of global rubber output and exports, pegged output at 10.023 million tonnes in 2011, up 6.6 per cent from 9.490 million tonnes in 2010. “The current phase of low rubber prices has reduced the enthusiasm among the dominant smallholders for continuing the good agricultural practices which are necessary for optimising the yield,” the group said in a report.
“Due to a marked decline in the net profitability, farmers largely tend to abstain from adopting stimulated harvesting or rain-guarded tapping.” In October, the ANRPC pegged this year’s output at 10.059 million tonnes.
The price of Thai RSS3 tyre grade, often considered the benchmark physical price, has halved since hitting a lifetime high at $6.40 a kg in February on fears Europe’s debt crisis could hurt demand, and after main consumer China recently sought to renegotiate prices.
“During 2012, the supply is anticipated to rise 3.6 per cent to 10.388 million tonnes as per forecasts available from member countries during the last week of November,” the ANRPC said.
“This will be contributed by expansion in the yielding area by an estimated 162,000 hectares and improvement in average yield by 19 kg per hectare.” ANRPC members include Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia as well as Cambodia, China, India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The countries also account for 57 per cent of global consumption, according to the ANRPC.