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Rubber consumption to grow 4%.

The International Rubber Study Group said rubber consumption grew by an estimated 3% to 19.88 million metric tons in 2004, with growth in natural rubber usage (3.5%) outpacing the expansion in consumption of synthetic rubber (2.6%).

With assumptions of economic conditions fostering further growth in rubber consumption, total usage is projected to rise by about 4% in 2005 and 2006, taking aggregate rubber use to 20.73 mmt next year. In both years, Asia-Pacific is expected to exhibit sound rates and provide a solid push to global consumption growth. The IRSG said that expected stronger growth in consumption of NR relative to production, this year and next, should result in a narrowing of the supply-demand balance. With respect to the synthetics, a narrowing but positive surplus is anticipated over the next two years.

Growth in NR usage of 5.5% to 8.72 mmt in 2005 will outpace the expansion of SR consumption, projected at around 3%, taking production to 12.01 mmt. The outlook for production sees tame growth of 1.7% and 2.1%, respectively, for both NR and SR, pushing output up to 8.78 mmt and 12.22 mmt. Consequently, a narrowing of the supply-demand differential is expected in both categories in 2005.

China's consumption of rubber passed the four million mt level in 2004, up from 3.6 million mmt in 2003. The country has more than doubled its rubber consumption in the last seven years.

In North America, consumption of rubber in the U.S. totaled 3.04 mmt in 2004, a slight increase from 2003. Canadian consumption also increased slightly from 371,500 mt in 2003 to 372,900 mt last year.

In Europe, consumption fell off in Germany from 866,000 mt to 844,000 mt, and there was a sharp drop in rubber consumption in France as usage fell 143,000 mt to 650,200 mt in 2004.

Japan's consumption continued to increase as it reached 1.96 mmt.
World rubber consumption ('000 mt)

 2004 2004 2004
 NR SR total

Canada 46.3 226.6 372.9
U.S.A 1,144 1,903.7 3,047.7
Austria 26.5 53 79.5
Belg./Lux. 72 116 188
Czech Rep. 49.8 92 141.8
Finland 31.5 4 35.5
France 230.1 420.1 650.2
Germany 219.5 624.5 844
Italy 142 255 397
Netherlands 22 102.5 124.5
Poland 78.5 149 227.5
Portugal 22 57.5 79.5
Slovakia 33.7 34.6 683
Slovenia 19 37.7 56.7
Spain 191.5 303 494.5
Sweden 6.7 79.3 86
U.K 86.5 206.5 293
Other E.U. 22.2 78.6 100.8
Russian Fed. 28.5 539.7 568.2
Turkey 118 142.5 260.5
Ukraine 6 73.5 79.5
Other Europe 35.7 115.4 151.1
South Africa 65 62 127
Other Africa 53.4 37.8 91.2
Australia 26.5 47 73.5
China 1,630 2,437.5 4,067.5
India 745.3 222.7 968
Indonesia 196 135 331
Japan 814.8 1,146.3 1,961.1
Rep. of Korea 351.8 335 686.8
Malaysia 402.5 137 539.5
Taiwan 119.5 296 415.5
Thailand 302 166 468
Other Asia 305.9 186.6 492.5
Brazil 281.5 388 669.5
Mexico 80.5 144.5 225
Other L.A. 140 213.6 353.6

Total 8,250 11,690 19,940
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Title Annotation:Market Focus
Publication:Rubber World
Date:Jul 1, 2005
Words:593
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