Rubber Import to Stretch by 38% on Inelastic Supply - The New Indian Express

Rubber Import to Stretch by 38% on Inelastic Supply

Published: 20th February 2014 10:27 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2014 10:27 AM

Rubber import to the country will increase by 38.25 per cent in the financial year 2013-14 compared to last year, Rubber Board Chairman Sheela Thomas said here on Wednesday.

The import of rubber will be more than three lakh tonnes this year which was 2.17 lakh tonnes in 2012-13, she said, adding the rise in  import is mainly due to the slump in production of natural rubber in June-July period due to adverse weather conditions.

In this financial year, 2.72 lakh tonnes of rubber was imported so far. “The domestic production of rubber was 9.12 lakh tonnes in 2012-13. But we expect to produce 8.50 lakh tonnes in this financial year. The consumption this year will be 9.70 lakh tonnes and it will touch 10.10 lakh tonnes in the financial year 2014-15.

The efforts of the board to find out new geographical locations for natural rubber production have been yielding fruits. Now states like Tripura, Assam and other North-Eastern states have started producing latex.

The production in Karnataka and Maharashtra also increased,” she said.

Commenting on the fall in prices of rubber, she said China, the largest consumer of natural rubber, used to import substantial quantity of rubber during January-February.

But this year they did not do so and this led to a slump in global demand. This coupled with the economic downturn caused the rubber prices to dip.

“In Kerala, rubber is cultivated in five lakh hectares. Though the area under cultivation is not increasing much, more spread has witnessed in Kasargod district. Small scale farmers are entering into rubber production recently,” she added.

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