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* Market Review
Movement were rather firm in the overseas natural rubber market in the week gone by. With China returning after the Spring Festival holidays last week, activities gathered pace. Market sentiments were dominated by the US-China trade talks and sanguine expectations on the same lifted the mood. Focus also shifted towards the upcoming meeting of the International Tripartite Rubber Council. Concerns over possible decline in output in the midst of lean production phase and rise in crude oil prices supported the sentiments as well. However, in the local market, sentiments were rather bland with no major fluctuation in prices despite some positive moves witnessed in the overseas natural rubber market.
* TOCOM rubber futures ended the last week’s session on a positive note on expectations over the US-China trade talks and International Tripartite Rubber Council meet this week. In the Indian market, ICEX rubber futures managed to end the last week’s session in green, while in the spot market RSS4 grade rubber was unchanged at Rs.123.50 a kg throughout the week in lacklusture trades. According to data released by the China’s General Administration of Customs, rubber imports declined 6.2 per cent on m-o-m basis in January this year to 619000 tonnes.
* Weekly warehouse stocks data from the SHFE showed a decline of 96 tonnes in rubber inventories to 437021 tonnes as of last Friday.
* The International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, will meet in Bangkok on Feb. 21-22 to discuss ways to prop up prices for natural rubber.
* Indonesia will propose implementation of the Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme (AETS) in a meeting of the top three rubber-producing countries according a senior trade ministry official.
* Malaysia’s natural rubber production increased 5.4 per cent to 54992 tonnes in December 2018 from 52174 tonnes in the previous month, according to the data released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Exports from the country shrunk by nine per cent m-o-m to 48183 tonnes during the same period, while consumption declined 2.7 per cent to 41823 tonnes on m-o-m basis.
* India’s natural rubber production increased 7.7 per cent in December on m-o-m basis, while it registered a decline of 10.3 per cent on y-o-y basis according to the Rubber Board. In the meantime, consumption and imports continues shooting up. The Rubber Board data shows that the total rubber consumption in the country continued outstripping supply, with 921,600 tonnes being consumed in Apr-Dec, compared to 814,060 tonnes in the year-ago period, while imports surged to 449,088 tonnes in Apr-Dec from 333,321 tonnes in the year-ago period.
* In the Kerala Budget 2019-20, the state government has en-marked Rs.500 crores for rubber price stabilization apart from proposing setting up of a company on the model of the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) for making value-added rubber products in the state. The government will have 26 per cent equity investment and the balance by private investors. Kinfra has been entrusted with the task of finding 200 acres in Kottayam district. Efforts are on to bring a large tyre manufacturing company as the main investor in this park. There will be common processing facilities in the park for small scale rubber producers. The aim is to create an industrial complex manufacturing items ranging from balloons to tyre.
* Ivory Coast exported 709,816 tonnes of natural rubber in 2018, up around 1.3 percent from the previous year, provisional port data showed.
* Cambodia had exported 217,500 tons of dry rubber in 2018, up 15 percent from a year earlier, according to a General Directorate of Rubber report
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