Kerala’s share in natural rubber production drops below 75%

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on July 28, 2021

Output increases in north-eastern States; Tripura is now the No 2 producer

At a time when natural rubber production in Kerala has witnessed a decline during 2017-20, it has seen a significant increase in the north-eastern parts of the country. Production increased in Tripura, Assam and Nagaland during the period.

Though Kerala remains to be the major producer of rubber in the country, production in the southern State dropped from 5.40 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2017-18 to 5.33 lt during 2019-20. Overall production in the country was 6.94 lt in 2017-18 and 7.12 lt in 2019-20. The contribution of Kerala in country’s total production came down from 77.8 per cent 2017-18 to 74.9 per cent in 2019-20.

However, Kerala showed improvement in rubber production in 2019-20 over 2018-19. The state produced 4.92 lt of rubber in 2018-19.

Goes up in North-East

In a written reply by Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, data on rubber production showed that Tripura stood second in rubber production. Production in the north-eastern State increased from 50,500 tonnes in 2017-18 to 61,950 tonnes in 2019-20. In fact, Tripura’s share in the country’s total rubber production went up from 7.27 per cent in 2017-18 to 8.70 per cent in 2019-20.

Assam’s rubber production went up to 30,350 tonnes in 2019-20 from 23,300 tonnes in 2017-18. Its contribution to the total production in the country went up from 3.36 per cent (2017-18) to 4.26 per cent (2019-20).

Rubber production went up from 9,050 tonnes (2017-18) to 9,350 tonnes (2019-20) in Meghalaya, and from 4,820 tonnes (2017-18) to 6,070 tonnes (2019-20) in Nagaland.

However, other major producers in the South such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu saw a growth in rubber production during the period. Karnataka’s rubber production went up from 38,300 tonnes (2017-18) to 41,550 tonnes (2019-20); while Tamil Nadu’s rubber production of rubber went up to 21,600 tonnes (2019-20) from 21,110 tonnes (2017-18).

Imports down

The country’s import of rubber has come down both in terms of quantity and value from 2018-19 to 2020-21. India imported 5.82 lt of rubber valued at $873.26 million in 2018-19. This came down to 4.10 lt of rubber valued at $624.35 million in 2020-21. The country had imported 4.57 lt of rubber valued at $696.43 million in 2019-20.

Covid impact on tea

Replying to a separate query on impact of the pandemic on tea industry in Assam, Anupriya Patel said the decline in tea production in Assam is estimated to be at 13.72 per cent during 2020 compared with 2019.

Stating that the loss of tea production brought down the oversupply situation in the market, she said this helped the sector through a rise in average price realization of tea. The average tea auction price for Assam increased by ₹46.63 per kg (28.60 per cent) during 2020, over the preceding year. She said the decline in production was offset by the significant increase in auction prices.

However, production of tea has improved in 2021, with an increase of 21.69 million kg (32.48 per cent) for the period January-May 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.

The Tea Board provided a financial assistance of ₹82.09 crore to the Assam tea industry from April 2020 till June 2021, she said in the reply.

Published on July 28, 2021

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