Here is an article on the growing demand:
China's natural rubber import surges by 18.4 per cent
Beijing, Dec 4. (PTI): China, the world's largest consumer of natural rubber, imported 1.32 million tonnes of the material in the first ten months, up 18.4 per cent year on year, latest customs figures showed.
The import during January-October was worth $2.52 billion, up 79.1 per cent.
Foreign-funded companies in China bought 43.3 per cent of the import nearing about 5,70,000 tonnes, while state-owned enterprises imported 3,98,000 tonnes and private firms took 2,86,000 tonnes, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed.
About 88.6 per cent of Chinese imports come from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The three countries account for 70 per cent of the world's natural rubber production.
China, which consumes one-fifth of the world's total natural rubber production, will consume 1.5 million tonnes of it in 2006, the China Rubber Industry Association predicted. [The Hindu]
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