(Adds comments from the group in third paragraph.)
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber production this year may gain more than previously estimated, boosted by increased output from China, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries.
Production from its members, representing 92 percent of global supply, is projected to grow 5.6 percent to 10 million metric tons, the group said in a monthly bulletin today. It had earlier forecast a rise of 5 percent to 9.96 million tons.
“Although the supply shows a marginal improvement compared with what was previously assessed, concerns over availability of natural rubber still persist,” said Jom Jacob, a senior economist at the Kuala Lumpur-based association.
Rubber futures have lost 27 percent this year amid concerns that a slowing U.S. economy and deepening European debt crisis may curb demand for the commodity used for tires and gloves. “While the natural rubber market may continue to stay fragile in the short-term due to exogenous factors, the demand-supply situation can hold the price,” Jacob said.
Output growth in the third quarter was revised up to 6.1 percent from 3.3 percent earlier, according to the group.
Consumption in China, India and Malaysia, which account for 45 percent of the global demand, is likely to expand 2.7 percent in the third quarter, an improvement from a contraction of 1 percent and 4.2 percent in the previous two quarters, it said.
--Editors: Ovais Subhani, Thomas Kutty Abraham
To contact the reporter on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ovais Subhani at email@example.com