Dr. Sawar Dhanania, Chairman, Rubber Board, India, has said that the current outlook is not that much optimistic for both rubber producing and consuming sectors. He was delivering the presidential address in the 179 th meeting of the Rubber Board at Kottayam.

“The world economy is passing through a difficult time and the economic horizon is overcast with uncertainties adversely affecting investor sentiments and consumer confidence. This would have its downbeat effect on all economic and industrial sectors. There could be volatility in natural rubber (NR) market responding to weather conditions, currency movements, oil price variations, speculative factors etc. However, the expectation that developing and emerging economies would recover and would be in a sustained growth path is a consoling factor,” Dr. Sawar Dhanania said.

Dr. K.N. Raghavan IRS, Executive Director, Rubber Board presented a report on the current domestic status of NR. Rubber production during April – September 2019 was 308,000 tonnes with an increase of 11.2% as compared to the same period last year.

“The improvement in production was mainly due to the efforts taken by the Board to bring more untapped areas into tapping through the adoption of holdings and rain guarding. So far, 2,800 ha of untapped area have been brought under tapping through adoption. Total area rainguarded during 2019-20 comes to 2,50,000 ha with an increase of 40,000 ha compared to last year,” he said.

The production in 2018-19 was 6,51,000 tonnes, a negative growth of 6.2% as compared to a slight positive growth of 0.4% in 2017-18. The projection of NR production for 2019-20 is revised to 7,30,000 tonnes. Consumption of NR decreased during April- September 2019 by 7.6% as compared to April-September 2018. During this period, consumption of NR declined from 6,14,040 tonnes in 2018 to 5,67,120 tonnes.

“Consumption of NR is projected at 11,40,000 tonnes in 2019-20. Import of NR decreased during April-September 2019 by 13.9% as compared to the same period in previous year and 73% of the import was through duty paid channel. About 82.6% of import of NR during April- September 2019 was in the form of block rubber. Import of NR during April-September 2019 is provisionally estimated as 257, 943 tonnes. Projection of import of NR in 2019-20 is revised downwards from 500,000 tonnes to 415,000 tonnes. The stock of NR at the end of September 2019 was 296,000 tonnes,” Dr. K.N. Raghavan said.
Executive Director also gave a short account of the major activities of the Board and other developments in the other sectors during the period June to October, 2019.