Import of Natural Rubber touched all time high of 469,433 tonnes, an increase by 10.1% from the previous year.
M K Shanmuga Sundaram, chairman and ED of Rubber Board said the natural rubber (NR) production increased by 0.4% from a year ago to 694,000 tonnes. At the same time, the consumption rose 6.4 % to 1110,660 tonnes
NR production was initially projected in 2017-18 at 800,000 tonnes. However, production during April-December was below expected levels and recorded an increase of only 4.4% as compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. During January-March 2018 it was 10% lower mainly on account of intermittent rains and relatively low rubber prices, he said.
Import of NR touched all time high of 469,433 tonnes, an increase by 10.1% from the previous year. Around 70% of import was through duty paid channel. Import of NR was unusually higher due to favourable price situation, increase in consumption and less than expected production.
The board has projected a production of 730,000 tonnes and a consumption of 1.2 million tonnes for 2018-19. The projected NR production is considerably lower as compared to the production potential, considering the prevailing low rubber prices and extent of untapped area, said the chairman.