Agri Business

Rubber output rises 1.3% in Jan

C. J. Punnathara Kochi | Updated on February 11, 2011

Rubber production has grown marginally by 1.3 per cent in January to 98,800 tonnes as against 97,500 tonnes last year.

The absence of rains and conducive weather were reportedly the reasons behind the growth in production. However, the small growth in production has not been able to stem price rise.

Consumption also grew marginally in January to 81,000 tonnes. Rubber imports recorded a nominal growth during the month.

There is an acute shortage of skilled labour in the rubber holdings of the country, Mr N. Radhakrishnan, Advisor to the Cochin Rubber Merchants Association, said. This shortage is already afflicting the medium rubber holdings and could affect potential production. While small grower can take recourse to his in-house tapping skills, large estates can depend on their captive labour.

It is the medium holding of 20-200 acres that are often finding acute labour shortage. And this is expected to translate into lower production. The sheer growth in the number of rubber trees planted and the growth in number of trees tapped need not necessarily reflect into a spurt in production unless the labour shortage is addressed, Mr Radhakrishnan added.

Production for the April-January period was up 2.8 per cent at 7,49,950 tonnes (7,29,250 tonnes). The growth in consumption was just a notch lower at 1.8 per cent to 7,89,230 tonnes (7,75,565 tonnes). With the international prices often breaching the domestic prices, growth in rubber imports was also muted during the first 10 months of the current fiscal. Exports witnessed a deceleration during the period.

The Rubber Board figures paint a rosy picture about the stock of rubber available in the country at the end of January 2011. As against 2,91,530 tonnes of natural rubber available during last year, rubber stocks have grown to 3,27,115 tonnes at the end of January this year.

Published on February 10, 2011

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