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Friday, June 2, 2023

India: Rubber output hits a 6-year low of 1.26 LT

Kochi: Natural rubber production has hit a six-year low of 1.26 lakh tonnes in the first quarter of 2018-19 as consumption reached a peak of 3.02 lakh tonnes.

The production-consumption gap has widened to 58 per cent of consumption in Q1 of current financial year from 46 per cent in the year-ago period making the raw material scenario all the more worrisome, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (Atma) has stated.

According to the latest figures released by Rubber Board of India, natural rubber (NR) production contracted by 12 per cent while consumption went up by 14 per cent. The deficit stood at 1.76 lakh tonnes in the first three months of the ongoing fiscal against 1.21 lakh tonnes a year ago.

For the second consecutive month in June, NR consumption breached the one lakh-tonne mark. The production on the other hand has remained below 45000 tonnes in each of the first three months, the Rubber Board data showed.

“Domestic natural rubber production could meet only 42 per cent of the domestic demand in Q1 of the current fiscal. Such scarcity and grossly inadequate availability of domestic NR is leading the tyre industry to a precarious position. The dependence on expensive imports will need to go up significantly if tyre manufacturing operations are to be sustained in the country”, said Rajiv Budhraja, director general of Atma.

The NR import is imperative to meet the huge demand-supply gap. However, customs duty on NR import is a steep 25 per cent, higher than other NR importing countries, despite acute domestic crunch.

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