India's Natural Rubber production has improved marginally while the consumption and import have reached a new high in the provisional data for 2017-18 released by Rubber Board.
According to Rubber Board, Natural Rubber production increased by 0.4% from a year ago to 694,000 tonnes. At the same time, the consumption rose 6.4 % to 1110,660 tonnes
Natural Rubber output was initially projected in 2017-18 at 800,000 tonnes. However, production during April-December was below expected levels and recorded an increase of only 4.4% as compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. During January-March 2018 it was 10% lower mainly on account of intermittent rains and relatively low rubber prices, the Rubber Board said.
Import of Natural Rubber touched all time high of 469,433 tonnes, an increase by 10.1% from the previous year. Around 70% of import was through duty paid channel. Import of Natural Rubber was unusually higher due to favourable price situation, increase in consumption and less than expected production.
The board has projected a production of 730,000 tonnes and a consumption of 1.2 million tonnes for 2018-19. The projected Natural Rubber production is considerably lower as compared to the production potential, considering the prevailing low rubber prices and extent of untapped area, the Rubber Board said.