Rubber sector facing challenging times ahead

Aravindan | Updated on November 05, 2019

Nearly 60,000 rubber growers in Karnataka have taken up cultivation on around 55,000 hectares in the State   -  THE HINDU

The outlook is not that much optimistic now for both rubber producing and consuming sectors according to Dr. Sawar Dhanania, Chairman, Rubber Board. He was delivering the presidential address at the 179th meeting of the Rubber Board held in Kottayam. The economy world-wide is passing through difficult times and the economic horizon is overcast with uncertainties adversely affecting investor sentiments and consumer confidence. This would have its downbeat effect on all economic and industrial sectors. There could be volatility in natural rubber (NR) market due to weather conditions, currency movements, oil price variations, speculative factors. However, the expectation that developing and emerging economies would recover and would be in a sustained growth path is a consoling factor, he added.

According to Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) world NR production and consumption during the first half of 2019 amounted to 5.85 million tonnes and 6.93 million tonnes respectively, with a deficit of 1.08 million tonnes mainly due to the decrease in production in major producing countries like Thailand, Indonesia and China. Global supply of NR in 2019 is anticipated at 13.81 million tonnes, with a decline of 0.5%.

According to IRSG, synthetic rubber production and consumption during the first half of 2019 remained almost the same as the corresponding period of last year at 7.60 million tonnes and 7.70 million tonnes respectively. This is mainly due to the decline in car production and sales all over the world. Consumption of SR in 2020 is projected to grow by 1.9%, Chairman informed the Board.

Dr. K. N. Raghavan IRS, Executive Director, Rubber Board presented a report on current domestic status of NR. NR production during April-September 2019 was 3.08 lakh tonnes with an increase of 11.2% as compared to the same period last year. The improvement in production was mainly due to the efforts taken by the Board to bring more untapped areas into tapping through adoption of holdings and rainguarding. So far, 2,800 ha of untapped area have been brought under tapping through adoption. Total area rainguarded during 2019-20 comes to 2.5 lakh ha with an increase of 40,000 ha compared to last year.

The production in 2018-19 was 6.51 lakh tonnes, a negative growth of 6.2% as compared to a slight positive growth of 0.4% in 2017-18. The projection of NR production for 2019-20 is revised to 7.30 lakh tonnes. Consumption of NR decreased during April-September 2019 by 7.6% as compared to April- September 2018. During this period, consumption of NR declined from 6,14,040 tonnes in 2018 to 5,67,120 tonnes. Consumption of NR is projected at 11,40,000 tonnes in 2019-20.

Import of NR decreased during April-September 2019 by 13.9% as compared to the same period in previous year and 73% of the import was through duty paid channel. 82.6% of import of NR during April-September 2019 was in the form of block rubber. Import of NR during April- September 2019 is provisionally estimated as 2,57, 943 tonnes. Projection of import of NR in 2019-20 is revised downwards from 5 lakh tonnes to 4.15 lakh tonnes. The stock of NR at the end of September 2019 was 2.96 lakh tonnes.

Published on November 05, 2019

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