KOCHI, APRIL 20:
The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) is bullish on the prospects for 2017, on the grounds that favourable trends in the overall commodity markets is expected to be mirrored in the natural rubber (NR) sector as well.
KK MustafahA farm worker drying rubber sheets in a plantation at Malampuzha in Kerala’s Palakkad district, on Thursday
The outlook has improved for China following the withdrawal of US tariffs on Chinese heavy commercial vehicles tyres. The improved economic outlook in the US and Europe also suggests possibilities of faster growth in demand for NR from non-ANRPC regions, says an ANRPC report, on NR trends and statistics.
Besides a balanced demand-supply situation anticipated for the second quarter of 2017, the NR market is expected to gain from a possible improvement in crude oil prices.
In the first three months of the current year, ANRPC member countries produced 2.49 million tonnes of rubber, a growth of 2 per cent from the same period a year ago.
The consumption during the quarter was 1.95 million tonnes, about 78 per cent of the total production. This growth, though marginal, is largely attributed to the positive response of farmers to a price recovery, the report said.
In India, improved production and lower prices prevailing in the domestic market make imports less attractive. Improvement in rubber prices, intensive campaigns and focused extension services have created interest among rubber farmers. More rains in summer months in rubber growing regions have also contributed to higher production.
Expressing hope that domestic production will cross 8.55 lakh tonnes in FY18, George Valy, President of the Kottayam Rubber Dealers Association, said that among the favourable factors are early summer showers and the Kerala government\’s rubber stabilisation fund. These, along with increased prices — hovering at ₹143 per kg — have driven most farmers back to tapping, he added. However, the declining rubber prices in global market is posing a concern to the domestic sector, he added.