Transparency in Rubber Market – The crucial role of IRSG

market transparency

IRSG is a vital organisation extending support to Governments and industry in decision making process.

It is generally quoted that lack of reliable and up-to-date information on commodity supply, demand, stocks and export availability contributing to price volatility. As the focus on commodity markets grows, transparency and integrity take on heightened importance as the essential ingredients for market confidence and efficiency.  The increased availability of information technologies makes it easier to disseminate information irrespective of the source of information. Reliability and accuracy of such information is a key factor when it comes to strategic policy decision of industry and government as well.

What is market transparency?

Market transparency can be defined as the availability of relevant market information to market participants. Transparency increases the efficiency of markets, reduces information asymmetries and supports evidence-based policy-making. The most important information from the perspective of market transparency on commodity markets relates to prices and production, stocks and trade.  Lack of market transparency and information asymmetries can lead to inefficient markets and give those with access to the most accurate data disproportionate power.  There is growing pressure from all sides for more transparency and the market transparency fosters market confidence.

IRSG’s statistics remain an important global reference for many Governments and rubber associated industries providing a true insight on the latest and future trends of the rubber market. Currently both public and private bodies are responsible for the collection of information, partly depending on the type of information provided and the approach to data collection. IRSG’s data collection and reporting addresses representativeness, accuracy, quality, confidentiality and timeliness in the information collected and published. With the advancement of communication and information technology, need for accurate, transparent and timely information became more apparent, given the presence of multiple organisations as data providers. IRSG decimate the market information to Governments and industry through its various publications:

IRSG’s flagship report titled World Rubber Industry Outlook (WRIO), published twice a year, is regarded as a high-value report for the industry and policy makers as well. This include a 10-year forecast on supply and demand for NR and SR around the world.

In addition, IRSG produces a quarterly report titled Rubber Industry Report (RIR). This provides comprehensive rubber market analysis and short-term forecasts (covering the current year and the next).

The IRSG Rubber Statistical Bulletin provides a quarterly release of the main rubber statistical parameters by country.

The Group also publishes the Rubber Focus, a series of quarterly briefing papers with each focusing on different rubber related issues.

The IRSG Monthly Rubber Bulletin provides a latest update on economics and market with short-term forecast on the rubber economy.

What value addition these reports brings?

Rubber industry, most of the rubber producing, trading, consuming, logistics, financing and consulting companies in the world now use IRSG Statistics as a reference guide to carry out their own market analysis and to plan their future company strategies on production and marketing. It is a useful tool for governments in elaborating the economic and industrial policy related to rubber issues. The long-term forecast is instrumental developing various scenario planning for industry and helpful to governments to create instruments on legal framework relating to land utilisation on farming, product manufacturing and the broader policy framework on sustainable development of the rubber industry.

Accurate and timely data enhances the reliability of forecast done by the organisation.  A high level of accuracy of the IRSG’s forecast over data is the result of quality of data collected by the organisation and quality of data received from members as well.  Information shared by IRSG member is key to quick adaptation to consumer trends and better understanding of consumer information.

The broader and extensive information framework provided by the IRSG is not available for free on internet. Given the presence of multiple organisations as data providers, it is the stakeholders who make decisions in choosing data providers.  Many consulting companies well regarded by the industry as the best providers of customer specific information to the tyre and rubber industry are members of IRSG. If nothing else, this speaks volumes about those consultants’ opinion of the value of IRSG data.

Transparency in the rubber market is key for developing tools for responsible sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing and management of end of the life of rubber products, a way forward towards sustainable future of the rubber economy.  Transparency of information provided by the IRSG heightened the organisation’s role as a global platform that brings together the interests of both rubber producers and consumers.


Author of the Blog:
Dr. Lekshmi Nair, Head of Economics and Statistics, International Rubber Study Group (IRSG)

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