Agri Business

Rubber production up a tad in December

C. J. Punnathara Kochi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 11, 2012

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India's rubber production registered a nominal increase of one per cent to 1,04,000 tonnes in December 2011. Meanwhile, consumption has gone up by 4.3 per cent to 84,000 tonnes. There seems to have been a corresponding increase in tyre production during the last few months.

Despite rubber production in the country registering a surplus in December, the lean season is coming up and a dip in production will be in evidence starting January, sources in the Rubber Board said.

The low production is expected to continue until April/May and the spurt in production from June will largely depend on the timely onset of the South-West monsoon. However this is also the lean season across the world and global production is expected to slow in tandem with that in India. Prices are expected to remain firm, globally and in India, in the coming months.

Demand-production gap

Production for April-December 2011 also increased by 4.3 per cent to 6,79,100 tonnes. Consumption, meanwhile, notched up a slower growth pace of 1.2 per cent to 7,17,485 tonnes in the first nine months of this fiscal. There was a shortfall of 38,385 tonnes during the period. But rubber imports have been looking up.

Imports were up 57 per cent at 21,734 tonnes for December. According to the revised figures, stocks at the end of December stood at 2,62,000 tonnes as against 3,14,890 tonnes in the same month last year.

Trade sources, however, said that there has been no significant growth in rubber production during the last four years. While production was 8,52,895 tonnes in 2006-07, it stood at 8,61,950 tonnes in 2010-11, Mr N. Radhakrishnan, Advisor to the Cochin Rubber Merchants Association said.

Improving productivity

This one per cent growth in production will not do in an economy where rubber consumption has been growing at over 15 per cent during the same time period, he pointed out. Rubber consumption was 9,47,715 tonnes in 2010-11, up from 8,20,305 tonnes in 2006-07.

Blaming the poor pace of extension of area under rubber and low acreage of old trees being replanted with productive clones, sources in the trade said that it was during this period that India became a net importer of rubber.

But large areas which were replanted with high-yielding clones are expected to become productive from the current year and coming year onwards. This will lead to increased production and productivity of rubber in the coming years, sources pointed out.

Published on January 11, 2012
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