RPT-Indonesia's rubber output seen cut by 3 pct if El Nino hits

Mon May 19, 2014 9:37pm EDT

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SINGAPORE May 19 (Reuters) - Erratic weather triggered by the El Nino weather phenomenon could cut rubber output in Indonesia, the second-largest producer, by around 3 percent to 3 million tonnes this year, a senior industry official said.

"Output may fall by 100,000 tonnes this year," Asril Sutan Amir, adviser to the Indonesian Rubber Association (GAPKINDO), told Reuters on Monday, ahead of a rubber summit in Singapore.

"We could see double wintering," Asril said, referring to the risk of an extended dry season, when leaves fall and trees produce less rubber.

Global weather forecasters in recent months have said that the likelihood is increasing of an El Nino event, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, which heightens uncertainty in global commodity markets.

The conditions can wreak havoc on global crops, triggering drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in the United States and South America. (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; editing by Jane Baird)

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