Common export packing facility for rubber manufacturers in Kochi

Thiruvananthapuram, July 28 | Updated: Jul 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
A common export packing infrastructure facility in Kochi is in the offing for rubber manufacturers to divert more rubber to the export market. Rubber Board has identified ready land with Cochin Port Trust (CPT) to set up the common facility.

Considering the Rs 20 a kilo price difference between RSS-4 and ISS-5, the international equivalent of Indias RSS-4, exports are more profitable for rubber growers. Although Indias rubber consumption is said to be growing in tandem with the 10-15% growth of automobile industry, this was not converting to price profitability for growers in recent times.

Land is usually a roadblock in setting up business infrastructure in Kerala. Rubber Board chairman Sajan Peter has interacted with CPT to facilitate the land, which had been temporarily used by Coffee Board for the new export infrastructure, sources told FE.

Rubber exports from India could have a field day, provided some changes were made in the packaging, according to a meeting of 30 leading rubber exporters. At present, rubber blocks and sheets were packed in an odd unit of 50 kg, while the international norm was a unit of 113-kg bundle. This anomaly had hampered the exports, even at period where the world rubber demand was the highest.

In 2005-06, exports were higher at 73,830 tonne compared with the previous years 46,150 tonne. But Association of Rubber Exporters felt this was far below the potential. In 2005, China imported 4.4 million tonne (mt), both natural and synthetic, followed by the US at 3.1 mt and Japan with 2 mt.

This year, the demand from the US and China are higher, especially with the new international passion for constructing rubber-based sidewalks.