Indias production to exceed overall output of rubber body nations

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Jul 30 2011, 09:19am hrs
During a tough season of domestic rubber shortage, India has found some consolation. The countrys natural rubber (NR) production growth in 2011 is poised to soar higher than the overall rubber output growth of ANRPC (Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries). In absolute production volumes, however, India remains fourth among the nine top rubber producers.

The growth rate of rubber production in (January-December) 2011 in all ANRPC members is expected to be only 4.9%, according to the number-crunching by ANRPC countries. In the corresponding period, Indias rubber production is anticipated to perk up by 5.7%.

Climatic conditions have been partial to Indian rubber plantations this season, while other rubber-producing countries like Malaysia and Thailand were affected by adverse situations like flood. Besides, Indias NR productivity has retained its lead among peer rubber farmers, Sheela Thomas, chairman of Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), said, when contacted by FE.

Rubber producing region in Central Kerala did not go through too much rain or too much dry climate in the first half of 2011. Shortage of skilled labour was a grave issue, she admitted. But even labour shortage is manageable, provided there are higher wages, said Thomas, also chairman, Rubber Board.

By and large, Indian rubber has stayed disease-resistant. Supply from Vietnam during the third quarter of 2011 is expected to fall 9.4% on year due to severe oidium leaf disease in its upcoming rubber regions, says Tom Jose, Senior Economist, ANPRC. Among individual countries, only Phillipines, Cambodia and Indonesia are estimated to post a higher rubber production growth than India in 2011. In the second quarter of 2011, China even shows a growth rate of minus 13.9% in NR output.

According to all estimates, total supply from all ANRPC members during this year is anticipated at 9.959 million tonne. This is 4% higher than that of previous year, says Kamarul Baharain Bin Basir, secretary general, ANRPC in the latest statistical bulletin (July 2011) of the Kuala Lumpur-based rubber producers outfit.

At the same time, ANRPC warns that globally the NR supply situation may stay tight till 2018. While giving its detailed statistical forecasts on global NR supply from 2012 to 2018, the report argues that supply is unlikely to grow beyond 3-4% during 2012. The shortage would be more acute after 2016, it says.