Board’s NR deficit alarm sends tyre firms urging zero-duty imports

By: | Published: February 9, 2017 3:38 AM

Stung by the 3.4 lakh tonne deficit projected in domestic natural rubber (NR) production data, the tyre industry has rushed to Centre, seeking corrective measures, including duty-free imports.

Tyre industry, which slurps up as much as 70% of the country’s NR production, has been currently facing domestic scarcity of NR.Tyre industry, which slurps up as much as 70% of the country’s NR production, has been currently facing domestic scarcity of NR.

Stung by the 3.4 lakh tonne deficit projected in domestic natural rubber (NR) production data, the tyre industry has rushed to Centre, seeking corrective measures, including duty-free imports. Recently Rubber Board had projected domestic production of 7.2 lakh tonnes and consumption of 10.5 lakh tonnes for 2017-2018.

In a representation to Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, this week, the tyre industry has sought clearance for duty-free import of NR equivalent to the projected domestic deficit. Tyre industry, which slurps up as much as 70% of the country’s NR production, has been currently facing domestic scarcity of NR.

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It’s a crisis like situation for domestic tyre sector. Domestic production of NR continues to be far below its requirement. Lately, sharp volatility in NR prices has led to further crunch in the domestic markets. In the last 45 to 60 days, NR prices have zoomed up by a significant 30% and growers are not willing to sell in the hope of a continued rally in the prices. Imports are imperative to bridge the gap but internationally NR prices have also zoomed up and coupled with high import duty, imports have become unviable. There is serious threat of disruptions to tyre manufacturing in the country”, says K M Mammen, Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA).

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