The seasonal production of natural rubber (NR) has increased moderately this monsoon. The combined production in June and July increased to 114,500 tonnes from 104,505 tonnes.
Increased soil moisture due to better rain resulted in the rise in productivity. Also, there was a substantial increase in guarding of tress during rain which increased tapping. Farmers invested more in rain guarding as the commodity is attracting high prices. The price of benchmark grade RSS-4 is at Rs 185 a kg at present.
The Rubber Board’s latest estimates also indicate the tapping area increased, resulting in a rise of 11,000 tonnes in production. In some places growers started tapping the high yielding Clone-400 series.
In July, production increased to 57,500 tonnes compared to 50,250 tonnes in the same month last year. Meanwhile, in April-July, production increased 6.5 per cent at 223,250 tonnes as against 209,825 tonnes in the same period of the previous financial year.
During April-July period of 2009-10, production declined 13 per cent. In April-June period of the current financial year, production increased 4.1 per cent, while consumption increased 5.2 per cent. Contrary to the production-consumption pattern of the commodity till June, consumption has grown at a lower pace in April-July as it increased to 307,550 tonnes, registering a growth of only 3.3 per cent. The Rubber Board data showed that July consumption dropped to 77,500 tonnes from 78,910 tonnes in July 2009.
Even though the supply condition in the open market is tight at the much higher price tag, the board’s data assures a total stock of 220,083 tonnes in the country as on July 31 as against 188,090 tonnes in the same month last year.
In April-July, 53,139 tonnes were brought into the country as against 70,328 tonnes in the same period of 2009-10. According to the board, the drop in imports was mainly due to higher international prices till the first week of June. Meanwhile, there were nil exports in July as against 30 tonnes in last July. The total exports during April-July were 4,335 tonnes as against 878 tonnes in the same period of last financial year.
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