Albany, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/22/2014 -- Since 2011, global natural rubber market has remained oversupplied with surplus amounting to 220,000 tons in 2011, 410,000 tons in 2013 and expected to soar to about 540,000 tons in 2014. Affected by this, global natural rubber prices have been falling. In 2013, natural rubber futures prices in China plummeted by 41.2% over 2011, and is expected to continue to decline.
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Currently, global natural rubber consumption markets are mainly concentrated in China, Europe, India and the United States, with the four countries and regions making up 59.6% of global natural rubber consumption in 2013. Among them, China was the largest consumer, reaching up to 4.156 million tons, or 34.9% of the world's total.
However, limited by planting region, climate and so on, global natural rubber production is primarily concentrated in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam and African countries. In relative terms, output of natural rubber in China is rather low, only 856,000 tons in 2013, or 7.3% of global total.
Due to grave imbalance between market supply and demand, China imports most of natural rubber from abroad, with import volume totaling 2.4723 million tons in 2013, an increase of 13.6% year on year. Among them, 87.9% came from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia over the same period.
In recent years, China has been expanding rubber planting area. Rubber trees which were planted in 2005-2008 will be tapped in succession from 2014, and then output of natural rubber in China will increase dramatically, with the output expected to exceed 1 million tons in 2016.
Sinochem International, China Hainan Rubber Industry Group, Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group and Yunnan State Farms Group are the leading Chinese natural rubber producers. Propelled by “going out” strategy for Chinese natural rubber companies, they have accelerated the expansion of overseas business.
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Sinochem International Corporation is the largest provider with comprehensive operation in the field of natural rubber. The company, through acquisition and integration of natural rubber processing factories and plantations at home and abroad, has continued to expand its natural rubber business. As of the end of 2013, the company had 180,000 hectares of land for natural rubber, with processing capacity of 680,000 tons/a of rubber.
China Hainan Rubber Industry Group Co., Ltd. is a key natural rubber producer in China. By the end of 2013, the company had controlled 21 rubber factories in Hainan and Yunnan with combined processing capacity of 430,000 tons/a of natural rubber. In addition, following its acquisition of Singaporean rubber trading giant R1, the company established a joint venture in July 2013 in Sierra Leone, with the aim of planting 100,000 hectares of natural rubber and intending to build a natural rubber processing plant.
Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group Co., Ltd. began to expand its overseas business from 2004 and by the end of January 2014 the Group had 19 overseas projects, with total investment of RMB 8 billion and 3 million mu (1 hectare equals to 15 mu) of rubber planting area. If all projects can reach designed capacity on schedule, the company will be able to produce over 1 million tons of natural rubber annually.
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