KResearch is of the view that concentrated latex prices in Thailand will likely bounce back over the short term or during the remainder of 2020 through to 2021 to a range of THB53-58/kg. The recovery will be supported by steady demand growth seen in rubber gloves, especially rubber medical gloves. This will offer bright prospects for Thai rubber, in particular concentrated latex, which is a key feedstock for rubber glove production. Looking ahead, demand for concentrated latex is projected to be sustainable over the long term in line with the fact that consumers have become more health conscious. Meanwhile, demand for block rubber and ribbed smoked rubber sheets is set to decline because the auto-tire manufacturing industry will require less natural rubber.
KResearch views that the recovery in concentrated latex prices will be a boon for rubber growers, especially those having sufficient funds to invest in machinery and knowledge to process concentrated latex. It will be even better if they can form cooperative networks and/or community enterprises. Concentrated latex processors may consider expanding their production line towards rubber gloves by themselves concurrently with investing overseas. The public sector should accelerate its efforts to promote rubber glove R&D to directly meet the market's needs and add economic value to the country.