Rubber Board chairman Sheela Thomas on Monday said the production of natural rubber (NR) in the country had increased by 4.3 per cent during the financial year 2011-12.

Ms. Thomas added that the growth in the sector of natural rubber (NR) would continue without much fluctuation, though many countries still faced economic uncertainties, according to a press note issued here.

Delivering the presidential address at the 168th meeting of the Rubber Board, she pointed out that the threat of a sharp slowdown in economic activities had eased, with the economic recovery in the U.S. and better policies in the Euro area.

However, economic recovery was projected to be weak in major advanced economies. Economic activities were expected to remain relatively strong in most emerging and developing economies. Oil price also was projected to be at the current rates and the supply tightness of NR was expected to continue. Thin NR production-consumption balance and low level of inventories could lead to a volatile market responding to weather, currency and speculative factors, she added.

Production and consumption of NR for the year 2011-12 stood at 8,99,400 tonnes and 966,750 tonnes respectively. NR consumption in the tyre sector increased by 6.3 per cent whereas that in the non-tyre sector declined by 5.4 per cent over the same period. According to the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), tyre production and export increased by 6 per cent and 24 per cent respectively during April, 2011 to“ February, 2012. She added that import and export of NR during 2011-12 was 2,05,433 tonnes and 27,145 tonnes respectively. The carryover stock at the end of March 2012 was 2,30,000 tonnes.

Projections

Production and consumption of NR for the year 2012-13 are projected at 9, 42,000 tonnes and 1,006,000 tonnes respectively with a deficit of 64,000 tonnes. However, there would not be any shortage of NR in the domestic market in 2012- 2013 as the projected opening stock of NR in April 2012 was 2,30,000 tonnes and the rubber consuming industry had entitlement to import around 1,20,000 tonnes of NR through duty-free channels.

The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has forecast world production and consumption of NR at 11.32 and 11.29 million tonnes with a surplus of 31,000 tonnes during 2012. World NR production and consumption in 2013 would be 11.91 million tonnes and 11.84 million tonnes respectively with a surplus of 74,000 tonnes. However, deficits or surpluses of these magnitudes were not significant in leading the NR market to any direction when the total volume of production or consumption and stock were considered, che Chairman informed the Board.

Keywords: Rubber Board

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