After the extended downturn, this is the beginning of an exciting upward trendin the commodities sector….or is it really?
On 22 and 23 March 2017, global senior representatives from the rubber industry will once again meet in Singapore to attend the World Rubber Summit (WRS). Themed “Orderly Growth for a Healthy Industry”, the summit will examine how leaders of the global rubber industry are adjusting to the rapidly changing world economy and new global paradigms which will have significant impact on the industry.
Lower than expected economic growth in the face of significant expansion in supply capacity and slowdown in demand, has resulted in market imbalance affecting both productivity and profitability in the rubber industry. Over-supply situation in many industries globally, rubber included, requires economic adjustment to realign market. The market realignment via consolidation of the value chain could be one of the possible consequences that can better influence future demand and supply in the rubber market.
A key driver for change largely depends on global market reaction to the general belief that the China economy has stabilized and expected to follow a sustained growth. Improving confidence in emerging as well as mature markets will have impact on commodity prices and is expected to bring a renewed confidence in the commodity sector. Additionally, rubber demand will continue its growth aligned with growth in tyre and automotive industry. However, innovations in raw materials and tyre technology in tune with norms and regulations can impact future elastomer demand.
Another area explored in the summit are the major challenges for producers, especially small growers of natural rubber. One key challenge is optimisation of farm efficiency through productivity and risk management. There are growing concerns on ensuring a sustainable income for small growers from rubber farming. Combinations of productivity enhancement and cost reduction options can ensure sustainable farm income via minimising the price risk. Smart agriculture opportunities are additional tools to minimise the risks in farming.
The World Rubber Summit 2017 will address all these broader and strategic policy led issues in different plenary sessions. Representing the broad rubber industry value chain, delegates will look forward to insightful and relevant coverage from various industry leaders.