Prices of natural rubber, used in everything from condoms to automobile tires, are languishing near record lows and causing headaches for farmers.
The commodity is a staple in industrial supply chains but prices, which are determined primarily by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, have been volatile in recent years. After hitting rock bottom in early 2016 at roughly $1,000 a ton, levels are now around $1,400 a ton — which is still well below the 10-year average of $2,500 a ton, according to Halcyon Agri, a global supplier of the durable material.
The Singapore-based firm hopes to rectify the current gloomy environment.
"With what we're doing, I think we can restore a fair price over time by reducing the volatility," CEO Robert Meyer told CNBC on Monday.
Halcyon Agri has been on a heavy-duty acquisition spree as of late.
Last year, it entered into a three-way merger with Chinese chemicals firms Sinochem International and Singaporean rubber producer GMG Global to create the world's largest rubber supply chain manager.
In recent weeks, it's snapped up five rubber factories across Indonesia, adding to its portfolio of plants in Thailand and Malaysia. Those Southeast Asian countries produce nearly 70 percent of the world's natural rubber and officials in the three nations are expected to cut exports in response to dwindling prices.