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Natural rubber price index

This post is a summary of the Natural Rubber price developments. The price developments of Natural Rubber are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Natural Rubber price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for Natural Rubber prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of Natural Rubber prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of Natural Rubber
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of Natural Rubber prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the Natural Rubber market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Natural rubber price index

Here is some additional information

 

What is Natural rubber

Natural rubber, also known as latex, is a polymer (a long chain of repeating chemical units) that is produced by certain plants, most notably the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). It is a milky, white fluid that is collected from the tree by making a cut in the bark and allowing the latex to flow into a container. The latex is then processed to create raw rubber, which can be molded or shaped into various products.

Natural rubber has a number of unique properties that make it useful in a wide range of applications. It is highly elastic, which allows it to stretch and return to its original shape repeatedly. It is also resistant to water and wear, which makes it ideal for use in products that are exposed to the elements or subjected to wear and tear. Natural rubber is also resistant to electricity and has good insulation properties, which makes it useful in electrical products.

 

How is Natural rubber produced

The process of making raw rubber from latex involves several steps:

Collection

Latex is collected from rubber trees by making a cut in the bark and allowing the latex to flow into a container. The latex is then transported to a rubber processing facility.

Coagulation

To turn the latex into raw rubber, it must first be coagulated, or made to solidify. This is typically done by adding an acidic coagulant, such as formic acid or sulfuric acid, to the latex. The acid causes the proteins in the latex to coagulate, forming a solid mass of rubber.

Washing and drying

The coagulated rubber is then washed to remove any impurities and excess coagulant. It is then dried to remove the remaining water.

Grinding

The dried rubber is ground into small pieces, which are known as crumbs. The crumbs are then mixed with chemicals and other ingredients to create a uniform, consistent compound.

Compounding

The compound is heated and cooled to set it to the desired consistency and properties. It is then molded or shaped into the desired form using various techniques, such as extrusion, injection molding, or calendering.

Curing

The final step in the process of making raw rubber is curing, which involves exposing the rubber to heat and pressure to complete the chemical reactions that give it its final properties. After curing, the raw rubber is ready to be used in the production of various products.

 

What is Natural rubber used for

Natural rubber is used in a wide range of products, including:

Tires

Natural rubber is an important component of tires, providing the elasticity and durability needed to withstand the stresses of driving.

Rubber bands

Natural rubber is used to make rubber bands, which are used to hold items together or to keep them in place.

Adhesives

Natural rubber is used as an ingredient in adhesives, which are used to bond materials together.

Footwear

Natural rubber is used to make boots, shoes, and other types of footwear, providing the necessary waterproofing, insulation, and durability.

Medical products

Natural rubber is used in the production of gloves, catheters, and other medical products that require flexibility, elasticity, and resistance to wear and tear.

Conveyor belts

Natural rubber is used to make conveyor belts, which are used in manufacturing and transportation to move materials from one place to another.

Vibration isolation

Natural rubber is used in the construction of buildings and other structures to isolate vibrations and reduce noise.

Electrical insulation

Natural rubber is used in the production of electrical insulation materials, such as wire and cable jackets, due to its resistance to electricity and good insulation properties.

 

Further reading

 

Trade and market information about Natural Rubber

The global natural rubber market is a significant and growing industry. According to data from the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), global natural rubber production in 2020 was estimated to be around 13.5 million metric tons. The majority of global natural rubber production comes from Southeast Asia, with Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam being the largest producers.

Natural rubber is used in a wide range of products, including tires, rubber bands, adhesives, footwear, medical products, conveyor belts, and electrical insulation materials. It plays a critical role in many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, construction, and healthcare. The demand for natural rubber is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by factors such as population growth, urbanization, and the increasing use of rubber products in emerging economies.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Natural rubber latex are the world’s 1322nd most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Natural rubber latex were Thailand ($1.29B), Vietnam ($206M), Guatemala ($65.1M), Malaysia ($49.7M), and Laos ($41.9M).

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Notes on the price-data

  • We aim to update the data series on the 11th and 25th of each month (but we do not always make it for each chart)
  • The data for the current month and recent history are fine-tuned over time.
  • We are continually improving our data collection and processing methods and data will be updated from time to time as we improve the accuracy
  • We are working hard to upgrade the algorithm before April 1, 2023 and a further fine-tune by July 1, 2023
  • This the index trend of the price of the product group in general and not a single specification in particular
  • The source of the data are exclusively public non-confidential sources
  • We combine public publications, import/export records, company announcements, and sources of ad-hoc public information.
  • The chart shows the price trend,  nearly always taken from many statistically-correlated sources 
  • The data is presented in US$. The UOM of measure is shown in the Index list table
  • We do our best to create an accurate representation of the trend
  • Although we believe the price trend to be accurate, we assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.
  • The information is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, fitness for purpose or timeliness.
  • By their nature, outlooks are always uncertain
  • We are working on 500 additional indexes which will be released over time when we are content that it is accurate.
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