KOCHI, India, Feb 20 (Reuters) – India’s natural rubber imports for 2014/15 starting April are likely to fall by a third from the current year to 200,000 tonnes as tapping of newly planted trees is expected to boost production to a record high, a senior government official told Reuters.
A drop in imports by India, the world’s fourth biggest producer, would put pressure on global prices that are ruling near their lowest level in several years.
“Trees planted in non-traditional growing areas are becoming ready for tapping. If weather remains normal, next year production can rise to 950,000 tonnes,” Sheela Thomas, chairman of the Rubber Board said on the sidelines of the India Rubber Meet.
The country’s natural rubber imports in 2013/14 are estimated to surge 38 percent to 300,000 tonnes from a year ago as production was disrupted due to heavy rainfall during the monsoon months of June to September 2013. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Supriya Kurane)