Rubber production increased 6.6% in August

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA’S production of natural rubber rose 6.6% in August this year to 44,543 tonnes from 41,801 tonnes in the previous month, according to data released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia yesterday.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said on a year-on-year basis, rubber production was down 22.7% compared to 57,599 tonnes in the same month last year.

Exports of natural rubber products decreased 6% in August to 42,658 tonnes from 45,386 tonnes in July.

Mohd Uzir said China was the main natural rubber export destination for the month, representing 46.8% of total exports, followed by Germany at 10.1%, Finland (4.3%), Iran (3%) and Turkey (2.4%).

“Rubber glove was the main export item with an export value of RM3 billion in August. However, this export value was a decrease of 5.2% compared to RM3.2 billion recorded in July this year,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mohd Uzir said the stocks of natural rubber have shown a declining trend since May and dropped further in August by 0.7% to 233,537 tonnes compared to 235,156 tonnes in July.

“The average price of latex concentrate was relatively unchanged at RM4.68 per kg in August compared to July at RM4.67 per kg. The price for SMR20 saw an increase to RM5.39 per kg compared to RM4.98 per kg for the same period,” Mohd Uzir said.

He added that domestic consumption fell by 0.6% in August to 46,745 tonnes compared to the previous month.

The manufacturing of rubber gloves was the main key sector for the rubber industry, accounting for 35,542 tonnes or 76% of the total domestic consumption in August, followed by rubber thread at 8.1%, and tyres and tubes at 7.4%.

Across the region, Thailand produced the largest volume of natural rubber in August at 393,700 tonnes, followed by Indonesia (245,000 tonnes), Vietnam (130,000 tonnes) and China (100,000 tonnes).