PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1228-1236.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.10.006

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Spatiotemporal changes of global rubber production during 1961-2013

Chiwei XIAO1,2(), Zhiming FENG1, Peng LI1,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2016-10-28 Published:2016-10-26
  • Contact: Peng LI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301090, No.41271117


Natural rubber is one of the four main raw materials (steel, petroleum, coal, and rubber) of industry and a globally important strategic material. Using concentration index and two-way analysis of variance method and the rubber production data of 1961-2013 at provincial, national and global scales from the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT), we quantified the spatial and temporal patterns and change of rubber production and investigated the main influencing factors of these changes. The results show that: (1) Since 1961, the global total rubber production has achieved great development, showing an overall increasing trend. The rubber production of the major rubber-producing countries of Asian (MRPCA) accounted for more than 90% of global output, with a clear multi-stage growth trend in 1961-2013. (2) Spatially, rubber production showed a concentrated pattern in the MRPCA, especially in Southeast Asia, including the most concentrated countries of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The disparities of national rubber production were significant among the MRPCA and the gaps further expanded during this time period. (3) The main factor affecting rubber production was plantation area. But in a few countries such as China and Thailand, rubber production was mainly impacted by rubber yield. (4) Global rubber production changes from "big three (Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia)" to a "dual core (Thailand and Indonesia)" distribution. Rubber plantations of the MRPCA generally expanded northward from the countries of island Southeast Asia to the counterparts in mainland Southeast Asia. The latter has become an advantage region in major rubber producing area of the world that shows great potential.

Key words: rubber production, spatiotemporal pattern, regional difference, Southeast Asia