KOCHI: For the first time since April 2013,natural rubber imports have fallen. In January 2014, imports have dropped 20 per cent to 19,696 tonne compared with the same month in the previous year. But the overall imports for the ten months ended January 2014 are at an all-time high and inching closer to the historic 3-lakh-tonne.
Rubber growers have raised their voice against high quantity of imports this year, which according to them have been much more than the drop in production. They had demanded a hike in the import duty and a temporary ban on imports. The government had effected a hike in the duty from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 30, which however, failed to arrest imports.
The industry said they resorted to heavy imports because of a severe short supply in the market. Many of the imports they contracted early during the year came later, according to them. Even now they say the production is below that of the previous year.
For the 10 months ended January 2014, the natural rubber imports stood at 2,79,627 tonne, up by 41 per cent . The total natural rubber imports for 2012-13 was 2,17,364 tonne. The production of natural rubber continued to drop despite an improvement in consumption.
The consumption has been picking up gradually since December last. For January, the consumption improved by 8 per cent to 82,000 tonne. At the same time, production showed 8 per cent drop at 93,000 tonne for the month. The total natural rubber stock at the end of January 2014 showed a 8 per cent dip at 2,72,000 tonne.
Source: India Times