Imports of natural rubber went up by 46% to 26,853 tonne in December due to lower prices in international markets and drop of over 5% in domestic production.
Imports increased despite the Centre raising import duty on natural rubber to R30 per kg or 20%, whichever is lower, in December.
The basic customs duty on natural rubber earlier stood at R20 a kg or 20% whichever was lower.
According to Rubber Board data, India’s natural rubber imports rose to 26,853 tonne from 18,366 tonne in the same month in 2012.
“Imports have gone up as contracts for import of natural rubber in December were made during September and October, and at that time prices in the international market were down by R35 per tonne as compared to domestic prices,” a senior rubber board official said.
During the April-December period of this fiscal, rubber import increased to 2.64 lakh tonne from 1.73 lakh tonne in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.
Meanwhile, production of natural rubber dropped by 5% to 1.08 lakh tonne during December 2013 against 1.14 lakh tonne in the same month of 2012. However, consumption rose to 79,500 tonne in December last year from 78,420 tonne in December 2012.
Rubber exports declined 57% to 695 tonne in December last year as compare to 1,603 tonne in the same month in 2012.