Tyre cos challenge Rubber Board data

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Nov 24 2010, 17:25pm hrs
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Tyre companies have criticised the state-run Rubber Board for inflating rubber stock position and stated that the board's claim of sitting on stocks of more than 3 lakh tonne was merely 'on paper'.

The closing stock, as reported by the Rubber Board to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries(ANRPC), has been pegged at 38% of the country's total natural rubber production. Even world's largest rubber producing countries including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have closing stocks at mere 7%, 14% and 3%, respectively, of their production.

At a time when rubber prices are ruling at an all-time high and the very availability is a concern, such tall stock claims are unrealistic, Rajiv Budhraja, director-general, Automative Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) told FE.

The association is planning to send a reminder to the Centre contesting the claims made by the Rubber Board. The tyre makers had earlier lobbied for allowing imports at nil duty to bring down the cost of production.

Based on the recently issued ANRPC statistics, tyre industry has been keeping tab on the rubber flow to the market. ATMA points out that Indias closing rubber stocks have been rising. It currently stands at a significant 31% of the total natural rubber stock of major ANRPC, while India accounts for just 9% of the total production of ANRPC. ATMA said that closing stock of China- the worlds biggest rubber consumer- is only 6% of its total consumption. But India has one third of its total consumption stockpiled as stock.