The Association of Planters of Kerala has objected to the attempts by tyre industries to seek uncontrolled imports of natural rubber citing a supposed domestic shortage.

Feedback from APK members indicate that rubber growers are not holding back any stock for better prices. The need for working capital for day-to-day operations prevents growers from holding back stocks, Ajith Balakrishnan, Secretary, APK, said.

“We would like to clarify that at the end of March 2024, the total stock of natural rubber was 3,72,085 tonnes. The total consumption by auto tyre manufacturers during FY 24 was 9,52,495 tonnes, averaging approximately 79,375 tonnes per month. These figures demonstrate that more than four months of stock are available domestically,” he said.

Rubber growers, he said, have been under severe financial stress for nearly a decade due to un-remunerative prices and high production costs. For the past two years, the average cost of production in Kerala hovered around ₹200 per kg. Since January 2024, international RSS 3 prices have shown an upward trend above domestic RSS 4 price. For the first time in nearly a decade, the prices of RSS 4 have crossed ₹200, providing some hope for the growers, he said.


The consuming industry’s call for the removal of port restrictions on imports and the removal of import duty is unwarranted and an attempt to supress the domestic prices during the peak harvesting season, he said.

Data from the Rubber Board reveal sufficient domestic stock. The association strongly feels that any move by the Government in this direction will push nearly 1.5 million rubber growers into financial distress, ultimately impacting Kerala’s rural economy.

The planters’ body urged both Union and State governments to take steps to protect the interests of the millions of rubber growers across the country.