Kottayam: A rise in the domestic prices of natural rubber has hit hard India’s rubber exports which slumped 42% to 29,674 tonnes during April-January of the current financial year, compared to 51,393 tonnes in the corresponding period a year ago, a senior Rubber Board official said.
“Rubber exports suffered due to a rise in domestic prices... till the last week of December 2007. Prices in the country were either ruling higher or on par with the global rates,” a senior official who did not want to be identified told PTI.
Rubber output in India, the world’s fourth biggest grower, may rise 14% to a record after cool weather helped plantation work, the state-run Rubber Board had said on 29 January.
Exports gained momentum during January to 7,000 tonnes from 4,780 tonnes in the previous month as global prices surged above domestic levels, the official said.
The prices of natural rubber in the overseas market rose by Rs11 to Rs104.18 per kg against domestic prices of Rs93.25 per kg on 31 January, he added.
If prices continue to remain firm in the overseas market, the board would export about 47,000 tonnes of natural rubber by the end of the current financial year.
“As prices in the global market are improving, we see more exports happening in the coming months,” the official said, adding that India’s imports may in the meanwhile see a slowdown with the decline in domestic prices.
Imports to the country have touched 76,634 tonnes during the first 10 months of the current financial year, up 38.12% over the corresponding period last year.
The country imported 55,482 tonnes of rubber in the same period previous year. Production of rubber in the country during April-January stood at 724,000 tonnes. Production in January went up by 8.86% to 105,000 tonnes, against 96,450 tonnes during the same month last year.
Bloomberg also contributed to this story.