Natural Rubber Shortage: A Crisis at the Gates

Natural rubber with all its chemical and physical properties is considered a main building block for many industries that manufacture highly valuable products such as tires in automotive industry, latex gloves used for medical purposes, clothes etc. Natural rubber is extracted as a white sap from rubber trees cultivated mainly in warm and humid south east Asia countries. It was a main resource that formulated the decision of war entering by USA during the World War two for its importance in aircraft industry which consumes a lot of rubber.

Now the world is witnessing an increase in the natural rubber prices because of flooding problems that threatened the cultivation and growth of rubber trees and the leaf diseases that infected those trees in addition to the weak incentive to plant new trees due to the large length of time that is needed to grow such a tree to be productive. All these reasons and others that are not mentioned leads to a shortage in the supply chain of natural rubber which may exponentially rise the prices of this resource and thus all the commodities that are manufactured using rubber. One may wonder and ask why scientists and chemical process engineers didn’t find a formula that can synthesize rubber in the lab, the answer is that this thing was discovered from many decades but synthesized rubber doesn’t possess all the properties of natural rubber such as elasticity even with further processing that may elevate the costs of manufacturing and deteriorate the economic feasibility of rubber businesses.

Do you want to know how rubber is made? Well, let us know in the comments on our social media platforms.

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