The production of natural rubber (NR) between April and August 2017 stood at 259,000 tonnes, 5.7 per cent higher than 245,000 tonnes in the same period a year earlier. The total projected production for 2017-18 is 800,000 tonnes, growth of 16 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
The board is also bringing more untapped areas into production and focusing on skill development to improve field productivity. The second phase of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project being implemented in Kerala, Tripura, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is in its final stage and is proposed to upskill 22,000 labours in the rubber sector under the programme, according to A Ajith Kumar, chairman & executive director, Rubber Board.
Kumar said the import of natural rubber had been consistently increasing from 2008-09 and reached 458,374 tonnes in 2015-16. However, in 2016-17, the import declined for the first time, by seven per cent to 426,188 tonne. The import of natural rubber further declined by 11.6 per cent during the April-August 2017 period from that in the corresponding period last year. And, 66 per cent of the import came through the duty-paid channel. The natural rubber import during 2017-18 is projected to be 320,000 tonnes.
Domestic natural rubber consumption during the April-August period increased to 441,380 tonnes, 1.7 per cent higher than 433,930 tonnes a year earlier. It is projected to stand at 1.07 million tonnes in full 2017-18.
The export of natural rubber during April-August 2017, meanwhile, was 4,152 tonnes, and the stock at the end of August stood at 232,000 tonnes.
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) forecast world production and consumption of natural rubber in 2017 at 12.93 and 12.88 million tonnes, respectively. According to IRSG, the world production and consumption during the first quarter of 2017 increased by 9.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively, on a year-on year basis. The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) estimates the production during the first eight months of 2017 to be 8.04 million tonnes and consumption at 8.54 million tonnes.
Source : https://globalrubbermarkets.com