India’s natural rubber production declined by 14 per cent to 4.4 lakh tonnes while imports fell by 7 per cent during the first nine months of this fiscal.
According to the Rubber Board’s provisional data, production dropped to 4.4 lakh tonnes in April-December period of this fiscal from 5.1 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The consumption of natural rubber too fell by nearly 3 per cent to 7,43,260 tonnes during April-December 2015 from 7,64,685 tonnes earlier.
Imports dipped to 3,27,288 tonnes from 3,51,034 tonnes during the period under review.
As per the data, natural rubber production fell to 58,000 tonnes during last month from 63,000 tonnes in December 2014, while consumption dropped to 84,000 tonnes from 85,820 tonnes.
However, natural rubber imports increased to 37,078 tonnes in December 2015 from 34,324 tonnes in the same month of previous year.
Meanwhile, the government last week allowed import through only two sea ports of Chennai and Nhava Sheva in order to curb inbound shipments.
“Import of natural rubber of all varieties/forms … is allowed only through sea ports of Chennai and Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port),” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had said in a notification.
Domestic producers have been raising concerns over rising imports and fall in local prices.
United Planters Association of Southern India ( UPASI) has said that cheap imports are harming India’s rubber industry and the government should introduce safeguards to protect domestic players.