Mumbai: Rubber output in India, the world’s fourth biggest grower, may rise 14% to a record this month after cool weather helped plantation work, the state-run Rubber Board said.
Output may reach 110,000 tonnes in January, from 96,450 tonnes a year ago, G. Mohana Chandran, the board’s joint director, said on Monday. Stockpiles at the end of the month may gain 31% to 234,000 tonnes, he said.
Higher production in India may weigh on benchmark rubber prices in Tokyo that have fallen 7.6% this year amid concern that slowing economies may curb car sales and weaken demand for the commodity. Rubber reached a record ¥313.30 a kg on 27 December.
“Production in January could be an all-time high as growers were able to extend tapping because of the cold climate,” Sajen Peter, chairman of the Kottayam-based board, said.
Natural rubber is obtained from latex, a milky white fluid gathered by cutting through the bark of the rubber tree and collected in small cups in a process known as tapping.
Imports by Indian tyre makers, including MRF Ltd and Apollo Tyres Ltd, may almost halve to 5,200 tonnes in January because of increased local production, according to a Rubber Board estimate.
Rubber output fell 6.4% to 619,850 tonnes between April and December, while consumption rose 4.7% to 640,435 tonnes in that period, Chandran said. Imports in the nine months ended December totalled 67,070 tonnes, 48% more than a year earlier, he said.
Rubber for June delivery fell 0.8% to ¥285.70 a kg on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange on Monday. Rubber for March delivery on India’s Multi Commodity Exchange fell 0.9% to Rs9,610 per 100 kg.