Biggest Rubber Producing Countries and History Of Rubber Production
Rubber is one of the largest natural materials in the world and its efficacy makes it ideal for many different applications. The rubber industry produces several useful items, including rubber mats, auto tires, and tubes, vehicle parts such as seals and timing belts, conveyor belts, shoes, cables, and wires.
By far the most common use of rubber is tire making – around 70% of natural rubber is used for this purpose. As the oldest use of rubber, today, more than 20 million tires are produced each year.
It is also used for hot water bottles, balloons, rubber bands, rubber floors (especially in jams and kitchens), flexible hose and ducting products, rubber gloves and gaskets.
So, where exactly does the rubber come from? Fortunately, there is an abundant supply in many parts of the world.
History of Rubber Production
At the beginning of the 20th century, Brazil was still supplying 99% of the world’s rubber. Today, Brazil produces less than 1% of rubber for the global market; now 80% of gardens are based in Asia. After the first shipment was exported from Malaya in 1905, Brazil’s role as a major producer declined, as rubber trees were grown in many other countries.
To grow rubber plants, the climate must be suitable to ensure maximum growth. Conditions must be temperate and stable temperatures must be around 28° C with slight seasonal variability. Temperature is one of the most important factors in the development of natural rubber.
The annual rainfall is also important. Rubber trees need 60 to 78 inches of rainfall annually to grow. Deep soil is needed to ensure deep access to the surface root and roots. Other factors such as the ability of soil to absorb moisture, drainage capacity, capacity to withhold moisture, and resistance to flooding also play a role.
Natural rubber is derived from the white milk of plants, called latex. This is achieved by the process of “tapping” the plant. Tapping a rubber tree is a relatively slow process, as it should be done in an environmentally friendly manner so that the tree will be in good health for an average life of 32 years.
A skilled rubber tapper will pull a thin layer of bark from the tree trunk each night, using a rotation, downward movement, with a container at the bottom to collect liquid latex. Highly effective tapping will give the liquid about five hours.
Once the side is tapped, the opposing side is tapped, which in turn prepares the first turn in preparation for the next session. The rubber is then processed into factories and converted into a marketable form that can be stored and sold for many uses.
Who produces the most rubber in the World?
Asia today produces most of the world’s natural rubber. Of the 28 countries ranked for rubber manufacture, 12 of them are Asian.
The top of the list is Thailand, where rubber gardens cover 1.7 million hectares, yielding 17,710 kilograms of rubber per hectare and providing 3.12 million metric tons annually. Most of the planting is in the southern part of the country. Monsoon climate is considered to be the most suitable for the growth of rubber plants.
The second is Indonesia in rubber production. Where the rubber industry is promoted by its tropical and monsoon climate. It provides 2.54 million metric tons of rubber annually and rubber planting covers 3.175 million hectares, but yields of 8,000 kilograms per hectare are relatively low.
The third-highest volume of rubber comes from Malaysia, where the bulk of the plantations are located in the western coastal areas, the humid piedmont zones at the foot of the mountains in the Malay Peninsula and also in the western zone of Kalimantan.
Malaysia is located near the equator, with a hot and humid climate all year round. The average temperature is 27°C throughout the year and the average rainfall is 250cm per annum.
The fourth-largest volume of rubber is manufactured in India. It was first established in the Malabar and Travancore areas in 1880; the commercial gardens began in 1902. Kerala is India’s most important and largest rubber producing state with 92% of the total area of the country.
Other cultivated areas include Tamil Nadu, Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, and Assam. India produces 803,000 metric tonnes of rubber annually and cultivates 450,000 acres of land, its tropical southern climate is best for growing rubber plants.
Vietnam is the rubber-producing country and its rubber production ranking is fifth in the world. Where the area around Ho Chi Minh City is very important for the country’s rubber cultivation. Rubber is one of Vietnam’s largest and most important exports to international markets. Vietnam produces 550,000 metric tons of rubber annually and has the potential to plant 512,000 hectares.