The NR output in January dropped by a third from a year earlier to 60,000 tonne as some farmers curtailed tapping due to lower prices.
The Centre should raise the import duty of natural rubber (NR) to 30% from the existing 20%, officials of the United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) said. Unless immediate measures are taken, it would affect the livelihood of 1.2 million growers and there is a danger of many growers diversifying to other crops, Vijayan Rajes, president, UPASI, said. He expressed hope that the government would intervene in the crisis-laden rubber sector in the forthcoming Budget.
India, which is the world’s fifth-biggest producer, is the second-largest consumer of natural rubber (NR) in the world after China.
India’s NR production in January dropped by a third from a year earlier to 60,000 tonnes as some farmers curtailed tapping due to lower prices. Meanwhile, India’s NR imports in January jumped 47 % from a year earlier to 30,441 tonnes as lower prices in world markets prompted tyre makers to increases overseas purchases, according to data from the state-run Rubber Board. The main concern for the million-plus rubber growers is the serious price crisis as they are solely dependent on rubber for their livelihood, sources said. The prices declined from the levels of R241 per kg in April 2011 to the current levels of R126. On Wednesday evening, RSS 4 grade rubber was quoted R140 per kg at the Kottayam market.