Production as well as consumption of Natural rubber (NR) in India declined during the period from April 2013 to January 2014 as compared to the same period in the last fiscal, said Smt. Sheela Thomas, Chairman, Rubber Board. She was delivering the presidential address in the 173rd meeting of the Rubber Board held at Kottayam today. NR production was 9.4 per cent lower as compared to the same period in 2012-2013. The NR production in this period is provisionally estimated as 723000 tonnes. The main reasons for decline in production are unusual and excessive rains, incidence of leaf diseases and low prices. However, the tapped area increased from 504,000 hector in 2012-13 to 518,000 hector in 2013-14, said the Chairman.
NR consumption from April 2013 to January 2014 is provisionally estimated as 811,110 tonnes which is 0.9 per cent lower than that of 2012- 2013. NR consumption in tyre sector increased marginally by 0.8 per cent where as non-tyre sector recorded a decline of 4.1 per cent. Import and export of NR amounted to 279,627 tonnes and 5357 tonnes respectively during the same period. Around 71 per cent of the import was in the form of block rubber. Tightness in NR supply in the domestic market and difference between the prices of RSS 4 in the domestic market and TSR 20 grade in the international market were the main reasons for the high volume of import.
Production and consumption of NR in 2014-15 are projected at 950,000 tonnes and 1010,000 tonnes respectively with a deficit of 60,000 tonnes. There will be a stock of 260,000 tonnes by the end of March 2015, she informed.
The world production and consumption of NR in 2013 according to the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) is 11.7 million and 11.3 million tonnes respectively with a surplus of 0.4 million tonne. They forecast world production and consumption in 2014 at 12.1 and 11.9 million tonnes respectively with a surplus of 0.2 million tonne. World production and consumption of NR grew by 3.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively in 2013. The IRSG estimates that this would be 3.9 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively in 2014. This was 2.5 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively in 2012, said the chairman.
The members demanded that, in order to check the wide fluctuation in price, a permanent scheme for building up a strategic reserve of rubber in the country should be formulated under the auspices of the Rubber Board.
Source: Rubber Board