Ahead of the World Rubber Summit 2014 (held between 19 and 21 May in Singapore), Asril Sutan Amir, adviser to the Indonesian Rubber Association (GAPKINDO), said that Indonesian rubber output may decline by three percent or 100,000 metric tons (Mt) to 3 million Mt in 2014 due to the impact of this year's possible new El Nino cycle. An extended dry season will lead to damaged rubber trees and thus less production. Indonesia is currently the world's second-largest rubber producer after Thailand.
On average, El Niño occurs once every 5 years. This weather phenomenon involves higher water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean which can cause droughts in some regions (such as Southeast Asia), while it can cause floods because of high rainfall in other places. This has a significant impact on the production of agricultural commodities (and can in fact lead to famine). Once every twenty years, the impact of El Niño is extra strong. The last time the world saw an extra strong El Niño cycle was in 1997-1998 resulting in the deaths of around 2000 people and damages worth of tens of billions US dollars. Forecasts of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, the European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) and the US Climate Prediction Center suggest that the world may see an extra strong El Niño cycle in 2014.