International Rubber Studies Group release latest industry outlook

Colombo, Sri Lanka – The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) is an International Body dedicated to increase the transparency of the world rubber market and strengthening the international cooperation on rubber issues. The IRSG Secretariat publishes comprehensive data on production, usage, trade and prices- covering both natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR). On a biannual basis the World Rubber Industry Outlook (WRIO) presents the latest long-term forecasts for the next ten years, covering the world economy as well as the automotive, tire and rubber sectors.
The December 2021 edition of the World Rubber Industry Outlook (WRIO) is now available. The current forecast in WRIO comprises two economic scenarios: Base Case Scenario rooted from the IMF’s base line GDP forecast; Downside Scenario which imply the continuation of the of the COVID-19 in the near-to-medium term and assess its implications for the rubber economy. Advanced economies seem to be more negatively impacted than emerging market economies and a gradual recovery back toward Base Scenario will only commence from 2026.
The total rubber demand is estimated to recover by 9.4% in 2021 (y-o-y), reaching 29.57 million tons, exceeding the pre-pandemic level. The strong rebound was supported by pent-up demand from both tire and non-tire sectors, especially in the first half of 2021. The global rubber demand in tire sector is estimated to recover by 8.6% in 2021 from a deeper contraction (-8.1%) experienced in 2020. A stronger recovery projected for non-tire sector (10.5%) is driven by continuing surge in demand for rubber products in the global healthcare industry and stronger recovery of rubber products in the supply chain of mobility. Total rubber demand is forecasted to moderate to 3.6% in 2022 and expected to grow on an average by 2.3% during 2023-2030 under the Base Scenario, slightly lower than our last forecast in July.
The global NR demand surged by 9.4% in 2021 (y-o-y), reaching 13.88 million tons, owing to sharp recovery expected in CV replacement segment in the mature and emerging markets. The world SR demand increased by 9.5% reaching 15.69 million tons in 2021 (y-o-y) and is forecast to further expand by 4.2% in 2022 supported by solid growth in the US, China, Russia and India.
Natural rubber production recovered by 5.7% in 2021 (y-o-y), reaching 13.79 million tons, still lower than its 2018 peak. Resurgence of Covid-19 variants in major producing countries which later led to restriction measures on supply chain and labor shortage have contributed to the slower recovery in NR production. Total NR production is forecast to further grow by 3.5%, reaching 14.27 million tons in 2022 and exceeding the pre-pandemic 2019 level. NR production growth is estimated to moderate to 3.7% in 2023.

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