The country’s consumption of natural rubber and its imports rose in February on account of the highest-ever auto sales in a month, which kept up demand from the tyre sector, the Rubber Board data revealed.
While consumption increased seven per cent to 77,500 tonnes in February this year, imports were up 323 per cent to 10,236 tonnes.
The increase in consumption in February 2010 compared to last year is due to higher demand from the tyre sector, especially from the truck and bus tyre segment, a Rubber Board official said.
The Indian auto industry recorded its highest-ever monthly sales in February this year at 11,29,783 units against 8,37,017 units in the same month last year.
Attributing the growth in imports to demand from the tyre sector, the official said the production of natural rubber was also up in India as the current market price is attractive.
However, rubber exports in February were flat at 2,258 tonnes, the Board said.
The country’s natural rubber production in February was 51,500 tonnes, up from 48,295 tonnes last year.
During the April-February 2010 period, total tyre consumption in India was at 8,53,065 tonnes compared to 7,97,520 tonnes in the same period last year.
Production was at 7,80,750 tonnes vis-a-vis 8,16,200 tonnes and imports were at 1,57,980 tonnes against 71,025 tonnes in April-February period last year. Exports lowered 66 per cent to 15,358 tonnes, it said.