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Fall in Natural Rubber Consumption

India’s natural rubber production has seen a 12-year low in 2014-15, when the prices of the commodity also sunk to the lowest in about five years, making it one of the worst years for rubber producers in recent times.

With the global rubber prices remaining below domestic prices for most part of the year, imports of natural rubber have risen to a new high. Rubber output during the year was 655,000 tonnes, down 15% compared to that in 2013-14, while consumption increased by about 4% to 10,18185 tonnes, according to the Rubber Board.

Rubber imports into the country at 414,606 tonnes, an all-time-high, were up 15% compared to that in the previous year.

 

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Global Warming – An effect on Rubber Output

A study has found out that extreme temperatures are becoming more frequent in recent years in Kottayam, Kerala’s major rubber growing area. The production of latex in rubber trees is closely related to the ambient temperature. The productivity of the crop decreases as the temperature goes up beyond a threshold level.

Earlier studies clearly showed that the increase in atmospheric temperature would affectrubber production in India’s traditional rubber growing regions. Thus the impact of changing climate in this region may seriously affect rubber cultivation, if the present warming trend continues.

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India to be self-sufficient in Synthetic Rubber by 2017

The prices of synthetic rubber have registered a steep fall in the past few months on account of the fall in crude oil prices. The decline in prices has happened in all types of synthetic rubber.

The prices of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and poly butadiene rubber (PBR), consumed largely by the tyre sector, have seen substantial fall in the recent period.

Market sources said that the fall in the prices of synthetic rubber would have an impact on natural rubber prices in the medium term.

India’s synthetic rubber output was 112,886 tonnes in the fiscal year ended March 2014, data with the state-run Rubber Board shows. Imports were at 371,839 tonnes, or three-fourths of its total consumption of 483,575 tonnes.

ndia is expected to become self-sufficient in synthetic rubber by 2017 as its production capacity triples, industry executives said, improving raw material supply for tyre makers in a country that is home to one of the world’s biggest car markets.