KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): Malaysia’s natural rubber (NR) production decreased by 7.6% to 27,209 tonnes in February 2023 from 29,451 tonnes in January 2023, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
In its monthly rubber statistics report released on Wednesday (April 12), chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said NR production fell by 2.7% year-on-year compared with 27,950 tonnes in February last year.
The local production of NR in February was mainly contributed by the smallholders sector at 87.3%, as compared to 12.7% by estates sector.
"Total stocks of NR in February 2023 declined by 1.5% to 191,636 tonnes from 194,563 tonnes in January 2023. Rubber processors factory contributed 90.6% of the stocks, followed by rubber consumers factory (9.3%) and rubber estates (0.1%),” he said.
Meanwhile, exports of Malaysia's NR amounted to 48,393 tonnes in February, an increase of 18.4% against 40,867 tonnes in the preceding month.
China remained the main destination for NR exports, which accounted for 56.9% of total exports in February this year, followed by Germany (7.3%), Türkiye (3.6%), the United States (US; 2.1%), and Egypt (1.5%).
In addition, Mohd Uzir said the exports performance was contributed by NR-based products such as gloves, tyre, tube, rubber thread, and condom.
"Gloves were the main exports of rubber-based products with a value of RM0.99 billion in February 2023, an increase of 5.6% as compared to RM0.93 billion in January 2023,” he said.
The average monthly price showed that latex concentrated recorded an increase of 7.3% in February 2023 to 538.55 sen per kilogramme (kg), against 502.05 sen per kg in the previous month, while scrap climbed by 2.3% to 474.50 sen per kg versus 463.84 sen per kg in January 2023.
Prices for all Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR) rose between 1.2% to 7.2%.
Citing the Malaysia Rubber Board Digest in February 2023, DOSM said the negative sentiment of the Kuala Lumpur rubber market was driven by the slight decline in crude oil prices, less encouraging China auto sales data and growing concerns for further interest rate hikes in the US.