London – Global demand for natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR) is in decline this year following a sharp rise in growth in 2014, according to The Rubber Economist.
The latest edition of the quarterly report, however, predicts that growth in consumption of NR and SR will rise in 2016 and 2017.
The predicted trends could contribute to a pick-up in rubber prices over the next two years – particularly for hard-pressed growers in south east Asia.
Last year, the NR supply balance turned to a deficit for the first time in four years, said The Rubber Economist. The SR balance was negative for the first time in 12 years.
Despite an increase in NR production in Thailand, the world output declined in 2014. The newsletter predicted that NR stocks would continue to decline, while SR stocks would rise in the coming years.