Top 10 Natural Rubber Producing Countries in World [Updated with – Uses & Types]

Rubber is found in the fluid of some specific plants and obtained from the milky white fluid called latex, found in many plants. But it can also be produced synthetically. Synthetic rubber is produced through the process of polymerization of various monomers. Naturally, rubber is produced by the process of tapping of the plant called Hevea Brasiliensis. The rubber tree is a native of the Amazon River basin in South America.

These plants generally have 32 years of economic life but they may live up to 100 years or even more than that. The plantation would start its yield from 6th year onwards. The natural rubber produced is processed to convert into a storable and marketable form.

Later on, these trees were cultivated in the rubber plantations of Indonesia, the Malay Peninsula and Sri Lanka. These trees now produce about 90% of all the natural rubber consumed. Gutta-percha and balata are other plants which produce natural rubber.

LOCATION

The ideal rubber growing regions should be 8 degree North of Equator, 10 degree South of Equator, and high temperature, altitude not beyond 400meters and high humidity.

USES OF RUBBER

The rubber industry produces wide range products like auto tyre, auto tubes, automobile parts, footwear, belts, cables & wires, battery boxes etc. Block rubber, Preserved Latex, Crepes and sheets are some forms in which rubber is produced and used. The basic property of rubber is that it comes back to its original shape if it is twisted or stretched but if heat is applied to the rubber, it won’t return to its original shape easily.

The rubber tree Hevea Brasiliensis is indigenous to Brazil and its wild growth was very common. Columbus made some knowledge available to Europe after the voyages of 1492. For next two centuries rubber was just a museum curiosity in Europe.

British inventor and chemist Charles Macintosh, in 1823, established a plant in Glasgow for the manufacture of water-proof cloth and rainproof garments. During 19th century Brazilian government banned the export of rubber plant to preserve its monopoly. Therefore, the Brazilian Jungles continued to be the main source of crude rubber for most of the 19th century. – Source

Despite a rigid embargo, in 1876, a British explorer smuggled 70 thousand seeds of Hevea Brasiliensis, he was Sir Henry Wickham. These seeds were planted in London Kew Garden. Later on, plants 2,800 were sent to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and to Perak in, Malaya, for plantation, and then rubber plantation was introduced in Indonesia.

In 1905, the year the first shipment of rubber was exported from Malaya, Malaysia. At that time Brazil was producing 99% of the world supply of rubber. Today Brazil accounts for less than one percent. Today more than 80% of plantation rubber comes from south-east Asia.

PHYSICAL & ECONOMIC FACTORS FOR NATURAL RUBBER

For the growth of Natural Rubber following Physical conditions are necessary:

PYSICAL FACTORS

1: Climate

For the optimum growth of rubber, conditions must be equatorial with a temperature of around 28C, with relatively little variation.

1.2: Temperature

The Temperature is required more than 28C best for the growth of rubber plants. Temperature plays a vital role in the best output of the Natural Rubber.

2: Rainfall

The distributed annual rainfall of 60 to 78 inches is required for rubber trees.

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3: Soil

Rubber has a wide tolerance to different soil types and soil moisture factors such as moisture absorption, moisture holding capacity, drainage and resistance to flooding. A deep soil is required to encourage deep penetration of roots and surface rooting.

ECONOMIC FACTORS OF NATURAL RUBBER

1: Energy resources

2: Water availability

3: Availability of Market

4: Location Factor

5: Sufficient amount of Capital

6: Skill Labour Force

7: Government Patronage

8: Government Policy for Industrial Development

9: Means of Transportation 10: Availability of latest Technology

TYPES OF RUBBER PRODUCTS

Rubber is one of the familiar products that can be used for Commercial, Residential and Industrial purpose. Generally there are two types of Rubbers such as:

1: Natural Rubber

These Natural Rubbers are derived from latex which is a milky substance found in the sap of trees. The products obtained from this process are a raw product this is also called as natural rubber.

2: Synthetic Rubber

Synthetic rubbers are from chemically synthesized. You can find many rubber products in the market such as rubber tire, rubber sheet, rubber pipe, rubber floor, rubber strip, rubber bands, rubber mats, rubber magnets, etc.

NATURAL RUBBER PRODUCTION BY CONTINENTS

World Total Production — 10,035,915 metric tons (FAO, Statistical year book — 2008)

The continent of Asia ranks 1st in rubber production. The plantation of rubber was introduced in Asia in 19th century and first shipment for foreign trade became in 1905. First rubber plantation was introduced by British in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. The continent of Asia produces more than 91 percent of the natural rubber produced in the world.

South-east Asia is the home of natural rubber production, out of 28 countries 12 natural rubber producing countries are in Asia. Among the continents, Africa ranks 2nd and it produces more than 6 percent natural rubber of the world. Third important natural rubber producing region is South and Central America. This region produces more than 2 percent natural rubber of the world.

NATURAL RUBBER PRODUCING COUNTRIES

Today, 28 countries are producing natural rubber in the world.

1: Thailand

Thailand ranks first in natural rubber production in the world. This south East Asian country has monsoon climate, which is most suitable for vegetative growth of rubber plant. Southern Thailand region has maximum rubber plantation.

During 2007, Thailand produces 3.12 million metric tons natural rubber, and area under rubber plantation was 1.7 million hectares. Per hectare yield in Thailand is 17,710 kg.

2: Indonesia

Indonesia is 2nd largest natural rubber producer in the world. Tropical and monsoon climate suitability has encouraged the rubber plantation in Indonesia. Indonesia shared about 21% rubber output of the world.

During 2007, its rubber production was 2.54 million metric tons and area under rubber plantation was3.175 million, while per hectare yield was 8000 kg, which is very low.

3: Malaysia

Malaysia ranks third in rubber production after Thailand and Indonesia. The west coastal and piedmont zone of the Malay Peninsula and western part of Kalimantan is important for rubber estates.

During 2007 rubber output was 1,270,000 metric tons, while area under rubber plantation was 3,175,000 hectares and shared about 10% of the total rubber production of the world.

4: India

Natural rubber plantation was introduced in India in 1880, when rubber was planted in Travancore and Malabar regions, but commercial plantation started at relatively later date of 1902. In India Kerala is, by far, the most important producer of rubber, accounting for 92% for 92% of India’s rubber acreage.

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Tamal Nadu, Karnataka, Nicobar Islands, Tripura, Mizorarn and Assam are other rubber producing states.

During 2007 India produced 803,000 metric tons natural rubber, while area under rubber plantation was 450,000 hectares.

5: Vietnam

Vietnam has emerged as fifth largest natural rubber producer in the world. The area around the Ho “Chi Minh” city is of fundamental importance for rubber cultivation. Vietnam exports the bulk of her natural rubber output to international market.

Its production of natural rubber during 2007 was 550,000 metric tons (550 thousand metric tons). Area under rubber plantation was 512 thousand hectares.

6: China

China is another outstanding country among rubber producing countries and has emerged as 6th largest rubber producer. China is an emerging industrial nation, its rubber demand is very large, and therefore it is deficit in rubber production. China import natural rubber from other countries.

China’s rubber plantations are located at the hills of the south-east and in the Yangtze basin and coastal belt.

During 2007, it produced 545,000 metric tons rubber, while area under rubber plantation was 475,000 hectares.

7: Philippines

The Archipelago of Philippine has suitable climate for rubber plantation. It has emerged an important country among rubber producers in the recent decade. Philippines coastal regions are most suitable for rubber plantation.

During 2007, its production is 360 thousand metric tons and area under rubber plantation is 95 thousand hectares.

8: Nigeria

During the last decade of the 20th century, Nigeria expanded its hectare age and yield and has become 8th largest rubber producing nation in the world. Favorable geographical conditions, cheap labor, nearness to European market and foreign investment has increased rubber plantation in Nigeria.

During 2007, rubber production was 143 thousand metric tons, while area under rubber plantation was 340 thousand hectares.

9: Cote-d-Ivore

In the West African region, rubber plantation first started in Liberia but Cote-d-Ivoire out ranked Liberia with in short period. The Cote-d-Ivoire ranks 9th in the world in rubber production.

During 2007, its rubber production was 128 thousand metric tons while hectare age under rubber plantation was 75 thousand hectares. Cote-d-Ivoire exports all its production to European countries

10: Sri Lanka

In South Asia rubber was first planted in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) towards the close of the 19th century. Being a small country expansion of rubber plantation is not possible. Even then, Sri Lanka is 10th largest rubber producer in the world. This is due to favorable Geographical conditions, cheap labor and easy shipment to international market. Cultivation of rubber is concentrated in the southwestern foothills of the central highlands.

During 2007, Sri Lanka produced 117.6 thousand metric tons rubber, from 116.4 thousand hectares rubber estates. Sri Lanka’s 97 percent rubber output enters in the international market.

Other Important Countries

The countries Brazil, Liberia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo, Guatemala, Liberia, Mexico, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea are some other countries prominent in rubber production in the world.

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