(Reuters) – India’s natural rubber imports rose about 11 percent in June from a year ago to 21,189 tonnes, state-run Rubber Board said in a statement on Monday, reflecting deals signed by local tyre makers earlier this year to cash in on lower prices overseas.
The imports during the first three months of the financial year (April to June) jumped 42 percent on year to 59,582 tonnes, the statement showed.
The world’s fourth biggest producer imports natural rubber from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“Tyre makers are continuously importing. In July we are expecting imports of around 25,000 tonnes,” said George Valy, president of the Indian Rubber Dealers Federation.
The production in June edged up to 62,000 tonnes from 59,200 tonnes a year ago, while consumption nudged up 1 percent to 82,500 tonnes, the statement said.
“Consumption is likely to fall in July. Tyre makers are not buying actively due to weak demand from the auto industry,” Valy said.
India is likely to produce 942,000 tonnes of natural rubber in the current year, up from 899,400 tonnes a year ago as production that was planned years ago comes onstream in non-traditional areas such as north-eastern states.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; Editing by Anand Basu)
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