New Delhi: India’s natural rubber imports jumped by over five times to 21,915 tonnes in August due to rise in consumption from tyre manufacturers and lower price in the global market compared with domestic rates.
Imports stood at 3,844 tonnes in August 2008.
In contrast, natural rubber export dried up completely in August against 3,047 tonnes in the same month last year, as per the provisional estimates of the Rubber Board.
“There was substantial increase in the import due to high price differential in domestic and international markets. But in export, there was no demand in the international market and hence there was no export,” a senior board official said.
The consumption rose to 78,500 tonnes in August compared with 75,850 tonnes in the year-ago period. “The increase in consumption during August was due to the improvement in the tyre sector,” the official said.
Natural rubber production in the country declined in August to 64,000 tonnes against 73,250 tonnes in the same month last year.
“Production fell last month due to the aged trees under tapping in some areas and adverse weather conditions,” he said, adding there was minor increase in tapped area compared to previous year.
During April-August period of the current fiscal, natural rubber production has declined to 2.73 lakh tonnes against 3.15 lakh tonnes. However, consumption has shot up to 3.76 lakh tonnes from 3.68 lakh tonnes during the review period.
Imports have surged to nearly 1,00,000 tonnes till August in this fiscal, compared with 27,722 tonnes in the comparative period last fiscal.
Natural rubber exports have plunged to 878 tonnes against 28,646 tonnes in the review period. The slump may prompt the government to trim its natural rubber export target of 50,000 tonnes for this fiscal.
Natural rubber price stood at Rs108 per kg at Kottayam on Tuesday, while the rate of RSS-3 variety of rubber was ruling at Rs108.39 a quintal at SICOM in Singapore.