Total exports of rubber products in the first half of 2022 was RM15.626 billion compared to RM39.826 billion in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, the export of rubber in 2021 was RM4.563 billion and with the increase of 1.01% for year 2022, this totaled the numbers to RM4.609 billion.
The latex products (non-gloves) shows a positive expansion of 35.5% for the first half of 2022 amounting to RM1.230 billion, compared to RM0.907 billion in the first half of 2021, and these are separated by-products such as in catheters, foam products, condoms, and rubber toys. Foam products mainly latex mattresses recorded the highest increase at 182.4% in the first half of this year at RM202.5milion compared to RM71.7million in the same correspondence year.
As for tyre products, there is room for Malaysian exports to grow as for the first half of this year have recorded an increase of 6% at RM883.2million comparing to RM832.8million in 2021. Additional to this, the top 3 export destinations for tyres in the first half of 2022 were The United States with 14.4% increase to reach RM403.3 million, Brazil with 36.9% climb to RM104.7 million, and Thailand with 25% increase to RM44.6 million.
Nor Hizwan Ahmad, CEO of Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) said “Now that we have an indication of the market opportunity based on the size of the market and our exports, let us focus on new investments, technological advances and greener products to grow exports.”. He added that the tyre industry would come from technological advancement, environment-friendly production processes, usage and also the treatment of end-of-life tyres.
Malaysian Rubber Industry Prepares for Endemic Phase
As the country approaches the endemic phase, MRC continues to fortify its resilience. Current initiatives are aimed at adding value to Malaysia’s rubber industry in order to keep up with the ever-ready, and aggressive global industry. The goal is to move the industry up the global value chain so that it can maximise potentials while also improving the rubber industry’s ability to address possible bottlenecks, governance, and reputational issues.
Discovering new market for Rubber Automotive Components (RAC),MRC will participate in the trade shows such as Automechanika Frankfurt 2022, Germany in September this year. Automechanika Frankfurt is the world leading trade fair for the automotive service industry that will represent the entire value chain of the automotive aftermarket. Nor Hizwan highlighted “After 2 years of pandemic, we warmly welcome our business buyers and importer to explore Malaysian rubber product especially rubber automotive components and tyres.”
MRC will also be participating in EVM Asia Expo 2020 which will be hosted by Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and supported by the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).
Other than the automotive industry, MRC is actively promoting Engineered Rubber Products (ERP) including seismic bearings which have been used in countries that are vulnerable by earthquakes such as Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt. Among the trade shows MRC had participated in, MRC will be participating in the Saudi Infrastructure Expo 2022 which is coming soon in September 2022. The Saudi Infrastructure Expo 2022 will be held on 6-8 September will provide an unrivalled international platform where the industry players can come together to learn and gather knowledege on the planning, engineering, transportation systems, communication networks and utilities that are associated with developing buildings and construction sectors in this 21st century, all under one roof.
Recently in July 2022, during Malaysia International Agricommodity Expo & Summit (MIACES) 2022 the rubber industry just launched the innovative future of rubber industry – Aerospace Balloon. This innovation and technology allow us to combine graphene extract and natural rubber to produce a new generation of rubber composites, which can be operated in the space environment and to be the first of its kind in the world.
And to support innovations in the industry, MRC launched a Global Fund for Rubber Innovation (GFRI) to encourage R&D and investment in high-value products and technologies in the rubber and rubber product industry. Funds up to RM10 million is provided to encourage generation of ideas, innovations and inventions for rubber products and technologies that have high commercialisation potential.
MRC has also started the GFRI roadshows around Malaysia to promote GFRI and other funding initiatives i.e. FAGT and ILF to the industry members and researchers and will be presented by our industry experts from the upstream and downstream sectors.
The ESG initiatives that had been implemented by MRC under social compliance is to initiate capacity-building programmes and awareness training such as Green House Gas (GHG) Emission training that have successfully completed in July 2022 and Industrial Waste Management Awareness Training in June 2020.
To address the forced labour issues, MRC has also successfully launched a Practical Guide for Malaysian Employers – Addressing, Preventing and Eliminating forced labour in the rubber industry in Malaysia. This was a collaboration with The International Labour Organisation. The guidebook will assist employers in the Malaysian rubber industry, in particularly to those employing migrant workers – on how to identify risks of forced labour in recruitment, employment, and sourcing practices, and how to effectively address, prevent and eliminate these risks.
“I believe that we are in the correct path to bring the Malaysia Rubber industry to a more effective and sustainable future. The development of the rubber industry is not only in the interest of MRC, but it is also the nation’s future” – Nor Hizwan Ahmad, CEO of MRC.