With tyre manufacturers showing a willingness to buy more natural rubber from the domestic market, the Rubber Board has requested growers to return to sheet rubber production.

The best season for rubber production is ahead, and growers should produce RSS IV and V grades to get an advantage when companies take positive steps to improve the domestic market, K.N.Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board said.

Rubber Producers societies should come forward to convince the farmers of the need to return to sheet production and provide necessary assistance for their members. The Board expects that the current crisis to be resolved once the tyre companies become active in the market, he said.

The Board convened a meeting with representatives of major tyre companies to share the concern of farmers. Falling prices and the reported move by tyre manufacturers in staying away from the market have facilitated the Board to take efforts to improve the domestic NR sector.

Peak season approaching

The peak season for rubber production is fast approaching and the action of tyre companies – the largest consumer of natural rubber – in staying away from the market at this juncture will add to the distress of farmers, Raghavan said.

He said tyre manufacturing companies informed that efforts would be made to improve the domestic market, and made arrangements to procure rubber from the market not less than the quantity procured last year during the months when rubber production was at its peak.

MRF, JK Tyres, Apollo and CEAT are the leading companies which informed their willingness to procure natural rubber during the peak production season, he added.

The Executive Director also informed the meeting that abstaining rubber growers from harvesting would also harm the consumer sector. The steps to resolve this issue should benefit the entire rubber value chain.