KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The production of natural rubber decreased by 33.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to 23,013 tonnes in April 2021 compared to 34,616 tonnes in April 2020, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said this was due to the seasonal factor — wintering period — which causes the tree to be less productive.

He said month-on-month (MoM), the production of natural rubber fell by 36.2 per cent.

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

“The decline in stocks was also influenced by factors at the supply level. Thus, the existing stocks was used to accommodate the reduction in production,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Uzir said the average price of latex concentrate decreased to 623.40 sen per kilogramme (kg) in April 2021 compared to 680.20 sen per kg recorded in the previous month, while the Standard Malaysian Rubber 20 (SMR 20) 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 rubber futures market, he said.

He said total domestic consumption for natural rubber increased 31.1 per cent YoY to 47,096 tonnes — the highest recorded compared to the change in the first quarter of this year.

“The use of natural rubber in rubber glove manufacturing continues to lead with 34,716 tonnes or 73.7 per cent of the total domestic consumption in April followed by rubber thread 4,198 tonnes (8.9 per cent) and tyres and tube 3,588 tonnes (7.6 per cent).

“The use of natural rubber in rubber glove manufacturing in April 2021 increased by 10.4 per cent compared to 31,456 tonnes in April 2020, he said.

On exports, Mohd Uzir said the offtake of Malaysia’s natural rubber declined 5.4 per cent to 55,696 tonnes in April 2021 against 58,852 tonnes in March 2021 with China still the main destination with 57.4 per cent, followed by Germany (8.1 per cent), the United States (3.9 per cent), Turkey (2.6 per cent) and Finland (2.4 per cent).

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

“The US was the highest importer of rubber gloves, followed by Germany and the United Kingdom,” he added. — Bernama