A large proportion of the acreage described above has been planted since 1906, and it will be readily understood that the production of plantation rubber is rapidly increasing, and is likely to increase at a still more rapid rate in the immediate future. Indeed, at the present time the increase is in geometrical progression, and for some years past the output of rubber both from Ceylon and from the Federated Malay States has practically doubled every year. In fact, so far as Ceylon is concerned, the following table shows that this is an understatement of the case.
Ceylon exports, tons
Malay Peninsula exports, tons
Lewton Brain in 1910 estimated the future yields for Malaya as follows:
There seems every reason for anticipating that these estimates will be exceeded.
A million acres of rubber in full bearing may be expected at a rough estimate to produce 150,000 tons of rubber annually. If the present increase in the rate of consumption is maintained, it seems probable that the whole of this amount will be required as soon as the plantations can produce it. When this takes place, a considerable reduction in the consumption of the lower grades of wild rubber may be expected. Some reduction in the very large amount of reclaimed rubber used by manufacturers may also occur when high grades of fresh rubber are obtainable at a somewhat lower price. Hitherto the increased demand has been such that with the supplies of wild rubber practically stationary, or even somewhat increasing, all the plantation rubber available has been readily taken up, and prices have been maintained at what may still be regarded as a more or less artificial figure.