The global increase in automobiles production is expected to drive tires demand which is slated to augment ribbed smoke sheet market growth over the next seven years. The market for tires is growing considerably mainly after the economic downturn of 2008 owing to supporting government initiatives such as increased spending and inventory rebuilding. These initiatives were aimed at increasing automobile sales leading to an increase in tires consumption. Moreover, demand for replacement tires which were postponed owing to the recession of 2008 speeded up resulting in rising sheets demand. Other uses include making of tubes, raincoat proofing’s, footwear, cushion gum stock, conveyor belts, and rubber mats. Other uses include several other rubber products such as extruded hoses, tread carcass, and off-road tires. It is manufactured from latex directly which is treated and further made to congeal. The coagulated latex sheets thus obtained are then smoked in ovens. The smoked sheets are graded visually on the basis of certain parameters and then packed in bales. There exist different grades of this rubber which include ribbed smoked sheet (RSS) IX, RSS 1, RSS 2, RSS 3, RSS 4 and RSS 5.
These are graded according to the standards as per IS – 15361-2003. Generally, it is done by observing sheets held against the light, when the apparent defects become prominent. Clusters formed among rubber farmers in India, commonly called Rubber Producers Societies (RPS) are involved in high-quality grade production in their group processing centers for domestic and international markets. High-grade sheets are produced in individual farms also. During the sheet drying process, main concern remains smoke particles from fuelwood burning. Moreover, wastewater in rubber drying cooperatives is not treated causing environmental concerns. This is expected to hamper ribbed smoke sheet market growth and pose challenges to industry participants over the forecast period. Suitable technology is required in dealing with both smoke particles and wastewater. Manufacturers suffer quality problems owing to impurities settling in rubber during manufacturing. Advanced technologies coupled with policies regarding price stabilization is expected to create immense opportunities for industry participants over the forecast period.
Demand in North America and Europe is expected to be relatively subdued while emerging economies of Asia Pacific such as China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period. Rising disposable income coupled with government support in the form of investments in the region is slated to positively impact Asia Pacific market growth. China is one of the largest consumers of RSS across the globe and highly dependent on imports to fulfill rubber demand. Thailand is one of the major producers exporting more than half of the total primary processed products and supplying the remaining to rubber product manufacturers domestically according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. International Tripartite Rubber Council: (ITRC) comprising representatives from Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are working on establishment of a regional rubber market in order to even out rubber prices. This market is expected to play an important role in the global market. Moreover, Thailand is studying the establishment of actual deliver market known as Exchange Trade Fund (ETF) for reflecting the correct market price and thereby stabilizing rubber prices. All such factors are slated to contribute immensely towards market growth. More than three fourth of the manufacturing units are located in Asia Pacific which is projected to drive ribbed smoke sheet market growth over the forecast period.
Major players operating in global ribbed smoke sheet market include GMG Global Ltd, South Land Rubber Co., Ltd, Thailand Rubber Rss3 Factory Exporter, Tong Thai Rubber, Von BunditCo.,Ltd, Unitex Rubber Co., Ltd., Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Srijaroen Group, and Thai Hua Rubber Company Private Ltd. Other players functioning in the market include Hong Sinh Rubber Joint Stock Company, PT Bakrie Sumatera Plantations Tbk Royal Latex.
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