Agri Business

Rubber production up 6.2% in April

C. J. Punnathara Kochi | Updated on May 11, 2011 Published on May 11, 2011

Workers making rubber sheets in Kerala. (file photo): K.K. Mustafah

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The intermittent rains throughout last month have resulted in a spurt in natural rubber production in April. The high prices have also ensured that the farmers take an active interest in bringing more areas under rain-guarding, ensuring uninterrupted tapping operations even during the rainy season, sources in the Rubber Board said.

The relatively high domestic and global prices have forced the farmers to overcome the labour shortage by roping in labour from their households. This has also ensured that areas under rubber which were not earlier tapped have become productive, the sources added.

Rubber production increased by 6.2 per cent to 56,800 tonnes in April against 53,500 tonne recorded in the corresponding month last year. Consumption, meanwhile, grew at a more nominal pace to 82,500 tonnes. The stocks have depleted to 2,50,250 tonnes as against 2,76,110 tonnes at the end of last fiscal.

According to the provisional figures released by the Rubber Board, the total production in the country in 2010-11 was 8,61,950, while consumption grew to 9,49,205 tonnes.

Going by the indications in April, the growth in rubber production recorded last year is likely to be sustained this year as well.

Forecast

The Rubber Board has forecast that the production in 2011-12 is likely to increase by 4.6 per cent to 9,02,000 tonnes, and consumption by 2.9 per cent to 9,77,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, imports are slated to fall this year even as exports are expected to grow. The year is likely to end with a stock of 2,71,000 tonnes, marginally higher than last year's level.

India, once self-sufficient in rubber, is no longer so. With demand-supply mismatch continuing in both the domestic and international markets, the prices have been ruling at all-time highs. The farmers can look forward to good demand and prices in the days to come.

Published on May 11, 2011
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