KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s natural rubber (NR) production decreased by 20 per cent to 22,498 tonnes in April 2022 compared with 28,106 tonnes in March, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

In a statement, the department said the NR production eased by 2.2 per cent year-on-year from 23,013 tonnes in April 2021.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the production of the commodity in April 2022 was mainly contributed by the smallholders sector (88.1 per cent) compared with the estates sector (11.9 per cent).

Total stocks of NR in April 2022 decreased by 4.1 per cent to 297,673 tonnes against 310,433 tonnes in March 2022, he said.

"Rubber processors factory contributed 92.5 per cent of the stocks, followed by rubber consumers factory (7.4 per cent), and rubber estates (0.1 per cent),” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said exports of Malaysia's NR amounted to 58,755 tonnes in April 2022, an increase of 10.2 per cent against 53,328 tonnes in March 2022.

"China remained the main destination for NR exports, accounting for 39.7 per cent of total exports in April 2022, followed by the United States (11.3 per cent), Finland (4.5 per cent), Egypt (3.2 per cent), and Iran (2.5 per cent),” he said.

The exports performance was contributed by NR-based products such as gloves, tyres, tubes, rubber thread, and condoms.

He said that gloves were the main exports of rubber-based products with a value of RM2.2 billion in April 2022, up 8.6 per cent from RM2 billion recorded in March 2022.

Mohd Uzir said the bearish sentiments that hit the rubber market were contributed by losses in the regional rubber future markets amid slowdown fears in China’s stringent COVID-19 lockdowns, persistent Russia-Ukraine conflict, ongoing global chip shortage, and inflationary pressure as elaborated in the Malaysian Rubber Board Digest published in April 2022. - Bernama

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