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23 Jan 2019

UNIED Focus Group Discussion: High-quality Rubber and Rubber Products

High-quality rubber and rubber products are the latest research topic in a focus group discussion with the University Network for Indonesia Export Development (UNIED) and authorities from ministries, institutions, entrepreneur associations, and other business agents, Wednesday (23/01). 

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest exporters of natural rubber, second only to Thailand, and is the sixth largest exporter of rubber in the world as of 2017. Indonesia is also a member of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC), which counts Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam as its members, all of which are the world’s largest producers of natural rubber. 

The global price of rubber is expected to experience economic pressure. This is reflected in the increase of output due to advantageous weather conditions in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as a relatively weak demand from China, which leads to high stock accumulation rates. With the war on trade between China and the United States, global demand for rubber in 2019 is expected to suffer considerable blows; the US’s imposition of 10% import duties on Chinese rubber tires, combined with the European Union’s lagging tire imports, have caused pressure on demand, as about ⅔ of natural rubbers are utilized for tire manufacturing.

The Chairman of the GAPKINDO (Gabungan Perusahaan Karet Indonesia; an association of Indonesian rubber companies), Moenardjo Soedargo, added that the rubber industry would still experience moderate export growth in 2019, due to the global rubber demand being dominated by several tire companies. Mr. Soedargo also underlined the importance of sustainability in the rubber industry, particularly from upstream to downstream, and also advocated for the increase of quality in Indonesian-made rubber so that they may compete in the global market.