The Market for Guayule Rubber

Anderson Jr RJ (1981). The Market for Guayule Rubber. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-81-062

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Abstract

In 1980, IIASA joined with the Centro de Investigacion en Quimica Aplicada (CIQA) to study resource development alternatives for arid and semi-arid regions. This joint effort is motivated by the perception that planning and programming of development projects, as they typically are applied to projects for drylands, are inadequate and pose serious obstacles to successful development of these regions.

Two characteristics distinguish the problem of planning and programming development projects for drylands. First, all of the common difficulties that beset development planning and programming (e.g., inadequate data, importance of poorly understood social and cultural relations, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate organizational capacity) are present in the extreme. Second, even very modest-sized development projects are usually enormous in relation to the social, economic, and technical structure of drylands regions; their ramifications are little short of revolutionary.

To focus our efforts to improve planning and programming methodologies for dryland regions, it was decided to examine a specific problem: the prospects for developing a dryland region in northern Mexico based on the exploitation of 6 vegetal resources native to the region. A description of this effort is available in: Anderson, R.J., E. Campos-Lopez, and D. Gourmelon. An Analysis of Renewable Resource Development Alternatives for the Northern Arid Region of Mexico: Study Prospectus. WP-81-7. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. (January, 1981).

Guayule (parthenium argentatum gray) is one of the vegetal resources under investigation in this study. Guayule shrub, which grows wild on the sierras of the Chihuahuan desert, produces a high molecular weight hydrocarbon that can be processed into a premium-quality rubber. For approximately 50 years during the first half of this century a small but important guayule rubber industry operated in Mexico.

The Mexican government currently plans to reactivate the guayule rubber industry using shrub harvested from wildstands as the basic source of shrub. This paper examines a critical aspect of this plan, the future market conditions under which a guayule rubber industry would operate. In subsequent papers, projected demand conditions will be compared to information concerning probable production costs to determine whether guayule rubber production is feasible economically.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:50
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 17:35
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/1699

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