New Delhi | India’s rubber imports touched an all-time high of 4.15 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 owing to lower international prices and fall in domestic production. In the previous fiscal 2013-14, the rubber imports stood at 3.60 lakh tonnes, which was also the highest ever till last year, according to rubber board data.
The production of natural rubber declined to 12-year low at 6.55 lakh tonnes in 2014-15, down by 12 per cent compared to 7.74 lakh tonnes in 2013-14. Rubber price, which ruled around Rs 220 per kg in January 2011, nosedived to Rs 123 per kg in the domestic market in the last fiscal.
Imports increased notwithstanding the Centre raising import duty on natural rubber to Rs 30 per kg or 20 per cent, whichever is lower, in December 2013. Meanwhile, to boost the domestic production of plantation crop, government is in the process of formulating a national rubber policy and an insurance-based scheme for the planters.
Total rubber consumption by various industries, including tyre manufacturers, was 10.18 lakh tonnes during 2014-15 which was 3.7 per cent more than the previous year.
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