Rubber Output in Thailand May Climb for Fourth Year in 2014

Jan 09, 2014 3:19 am ET

(Adds price in final paragraph.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber production in Thailand, the world’s biggest supplier, will probably increase for a fourth year in 2014 because of an increase in acreage, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics.

Output may rise 4.3 percent to 4.03 million metric tons from a year earlier, the Bangkok-based office said in a statement today. Tapping area is expected to increase to 15.8 million rai (2.5 million hectares) from 11.6 million rai in 2009, it said.

Futures traded in Tokyo dropped 9.3 percent in 2013 as global output increased and on concern that demand will slow in China, the world’s biggest consumer. A global glut may expand next year as production increases at a faster pace than consumption, according to The Rubber Economist Ltd.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, will expand 7.4 percent in 2014, according to the median estimate of 48 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News from Dec. 18-23. That would be the slowest pace since growth of 3.8 percent in 1990.

Global demand may expand 3.1 percent to 11.6 million tons next year, less than the 4.1 percent growth estimated in September, Prachaya Jumpasut, managing director of The Rubber Economist, said on Dec. 24. The surplus may climb to 366,000 tons in 2014, the industry adviser said.

Rubber lost 17 percent in the past year to 257 yen a kilogram ($2,451 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange today.

--Editors: Ovais Subhani, Sungwoo Park