Natural rubber, also known as India rubber, is produced from raw rubber or latex which is obtained from rubber trees. Raw rubber or latex is a sticky, milky fluid obtained by making incisions on the bark of a rubber tree. The latex is then purified to make rubber ready for commercial applications.
Across the world, due to rise in middle class population and increasing disposable income there is an increasing demand for automobiles. Rising automobile production is increasing the demand for car tires which is subsequently increasing the demand for natural rubber.
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Natural Rubber Market – Drivers and Restraints
According to global natural rubber producer, Sri Trang Agro-Industry Public Company Ltd., from 2010 till 2016, the global demand for gloves has risen at a CAGR of 5.0%. The company estimates that from 2017 till 2020, the global demand for gloves is set to increase at a CAGR of 17.5% per annum. Thus, rising demand for gloves across the world is increasing the demand for natural rubber.
In terms of per capita gloves consumption, the U.S., Europe, and Japan are 150, 100 and 76 pieces respectively. But, per capita gloves consumption is very low in the Asia Pacific region such as India and China has a per capita glove consumption of 8 and 6 pieces respectively. This presents a huge opportunity for natural rubber producers to further increase the penetration of gloves in India, China, and other Asia Pacific countries.
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Natural Rubber Market – Segmentation
Based on type, the global natural rubber market can be segmented into ribbed smoked sheets (RSS), concentrated latex, solid block rubber, and others (such as reclaimed rubber & crepe rubber). In terms of application, the natural rubber market can be segmented into automobile tires and other automotive parts, gloves, conveyor belts, footwear, rubber pipes, and others such as general and industrial rubber goods.
Ribbon smoked sheets of natural rubber are generally made from unsmoked rubber sheets. They are categorized into five classes: RSS1, RSS2, RSS3, RSS4, and RSS5 depending on color, elasticity, and purity where RSS1 denotes the best quality of RSS natural rubber and then according to descending order of quality, RSS5 is of least quality. Natural rubber producers collect raw field latex and preserve the latex through centrifugal action and chemicals such as ammonia to produce concentrated latex having a 60.0% dry rubber content.
In terms of geography, the global natural rubber market has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. North America is expected to be a prominent market for natural rubber during the forecast period. The U.S. is expected to lead the natural rubber market in North America from 2018 to 2026, followed by Canada. Europe is a significant market for natural rubber. Germany is expected to be a leading natural rubber market in the region in the next few years. The U.K. and France are other significant markets in Europe. Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest natural rubber market in the world. China is expected to be a leading market for natural rubber in the region. Japan, South Korea, and India are other major natural rubber markets in Asia Pacific. In terms of production, Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand are major rubber producing countries in Asia Pacific. Middle East & Africa is a significant market for natural rubber, with GCC dominating the market in the region. South Africa is another significant market for natural rubber in Middle East & Africa. Brazil is expected to dominate the natural rubber market in South America during the forecast period. Argentina is another significant market for natural rubber in South America.
Natural Rubber Market – Key Players
Major companies operating in the global natural rubber market are Sri Trang Agro-Industry Public Company Ltd, Thai Rubber Latex Corporation (Thailand) Public Company Ltd., Thai Hua Rubber Public Company Ltd., Von Bundit Co., Ltd., Southland Rubber Co., Ltd., Sinochem Group Co., Ltd., Apcotex Industries Ltd., Yunnan State Farms Group Co., Ltd., Firestone Natural Rubber Company, and Num Rubber & Latex Co.,Ltd.
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