Production of natural rubber falls 33.5% in April


THE production of natural rubber decreased by 33.5% year-on-year (YoY) to 23,013 tonnes in April 2021 compared to 34,616 tonnes in April 2020, due to the seasonal factor (wintering period) which had caused the tree to be less productive.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said month-on-month comparison also showed a decrease by 36.2%.

“The stocks of natural rubber decreased 7.9% in April 2021 to 259,355 tonnes compared to 281,729 tonnes in March 2021. Rubber processors accounted for 90.3%, followed by rubber consumers (9.6%) and rubber estates (0.1%).

“The decline in stocks was also influenced by factors at the supply level. Thus, the existing stocks were used to accommodate the reduction in production,” he noted in the monthly rubber statistics report.

Average price of latex concentrate recorded a decrease of 623.40 sen per kg compared to March 2021 (680.20 sen per kg).

The SMR20 also decreased from 707.89 sen per kg to 667.85 sen per kg for the same period.

The decline was due to concerns over the global futures rubber market, according to the Malaysian Rubber Board Digest (April 2021).

Mohd Uzir said total domestic consumption for natural rubber was 47,096 tonnes, an increase of 31.1% compared to the same month last year.

“The YoY change was the highest recorded compared to the change in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, comparison with March 2021 showed a decrease of 5.3%.

“The use of natural rubber in rubber glove manufacturing continued to lead with 34,716 tonnes or 73.7% of the total domestic consumption in April 2021, followed by rubber thread at 4,198 tonnes (8.9%), and tyres and tube at 3,588 tonnes (7.6%),” he added.

The use of natural rubber in rubber glove manufacturing in April 2021 increased by 10.4% compared to 31,456 tonnes in April 2020.

Exports of Malaysia’s natural rubber amounted to 55,696 tonnes in April 2021, a decrease of 5.4% against 58,852 tonnes in March 2021.

China remained as the main destination for natural rubber exports with a share of 57.4% from total exports in April 2021, followed by Germany (8.1%), the US (3.9%), Turkey (2.6%) and Finland (2.4%).

“Rubber gloves were the main export item with an export value of RM6.7 billion in April 2021, an increase of 4.7% compared to March 2021 (RM6.4 billion).

“The US was the highest importer of rubber gloves, followed by Germany and the UK,” he said.