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IRSG says rubber consumption will grow 6.8%. (Market Focus).

In its annual "Outlook for Elastomers" review, the International Rubber Study Group predicts that worldwide consumption of rubber will increase 6.8% this year. Dr. Prachaya Jumpasut, the group's head of economics and statistics, said that 2002 had been a much improved year over the depressed 2001.

Consumption in 2002 increased 3.5% to 17.85 million metric tons. Jumpasut sees that figure reaching 19.06 mmt this year. He sees the growth in consumption decelerating slightly in 2004 at an increase of 5.2%. Jumpasut pegs consumption in 2004 at 20.06 mmt. Growth in natural rubber is expected to increase 6.6% this year and 5.3% in 2004, while the growth for synthetic rubber is seen to be at 6.9% and 5.1%, respectively.

The IRSG expects the North American market to have the fastest growth rate this year at 11.8%. Growth for Asia/Pacific is pegged at 6.5%; Latin America should grow at a 4.6% rate; Europe's consumption should increase 3.2%; and Africa is expected to increase consumption by 2.1%. Jumpasut noted that the calculations occurred before the war in Iraq and that the strength of the recovery might be slightly altered.

Consumption of rubber in the U.S. increased to 3,001 mmt in 2002 from 2,814 mmt in 2001. The figures for 2002 are still well below the total of 3,385 mmt of rubber consumed in 2000.
World rubber consumption ('000 metric tons)

 2000 2000 2000 2001 2001
 NR SR total NR SR

Canada 148 233 381 131 228
U.S.A. 1,195 2,190 3,385 974 1,840
Brazil 227 320 547 216 322
Mexico 98 160 258 75 142
Other L. America 130 221 351 118 188

Belgium/Lux. 43 120 163 42 119
France 309 482 791 282 464
Germany 250 632 882 245 612
Italy 139 291 430 137 275
Spain 163 269 432 176 262
U.K. 133 188 321 107 167
Other E.U. 114 374 488 117 347

Belarus 13 36 49 10 35
Czech Rep. 46 96 142 47 96
Poland 54 117 171 59 113
Romania 12 29 41 16 30
Russian Fed. 36 539 575 36 575
Turkey 86 100 186 79 85
Ukraine 12 60 72 10 58
Other Europe 75 179 254 74 151

South Africa 59 61 120 51 50
Other Africa 73 57 130 70 56

Australia 38 56 94 29 44
China 1,080 1,455 2,535 1,215 1,575
India 638 171 809 631 172
Indonesia 139 130 269 142 101
Japan 752 1,138 1,890 729 1,085
Rep. of Korea 332 382 714 332 373
Malaysia 345 95 440 330 96
Taiwan 97 262 359 94 223
Thailand 243 144 387 253 140
Other Asia 233 196 429 222 192
Grand total 7,340 10,830 18,170 7,080 10,270

 2001 2002 2002 2002
 total NR SR total

Canada 359 155 228 383
U.S.A. 2,814 1,104 1,897 3,001
Brazil 538 239 314 553
Mexico 217 74 126 200
Other L. America 306 115 178 293

Belgium/Lux. 161 49 113 162
France 746 231 469 700
Germany 857 247 612 859
Italy 412 133 262 395
Spain 438 184 292 476
U.K. 274 86 162 248
Other E.U. 464 95 364 459

Belarus 45 10 34 44
Czech Rep. 143 42 93 135
Poland 172 61 125 186
Romania 46 12 27 39
Russian Fed. 611 19 552 571
Turkey 164 92 103 195
Ukraine 68 8 56 64
Other Europe 225 67 141 208

South Africa 101 63 58 121
Other Africa 126 66[beta] 55 121

Australia 73 27 42 69
China 2,790 1,310 1,750 3,060
India 803 679 192 871
Indonesia 243 145 96 241
Japan 1,814 756 1,120 1,876
Rep. of Korea 705 326 384 710
Malaysia 426 326 115 441
Taiwan 317 113 263 376
Thailand 393 260 148 408
Other Asia 414 221 183 404
Grand total 17,350 7,350 10,610 17,960

2002 figures are estimates

Source: IRSG
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Publication:Rubber World
Date:May 1, 2003
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