(NR) production in the country is projected to touch 800,000 tonnes in the current financial year — a 16 per cent increase over last year, according to the Rubber
The growing trend in production of natural rubber
continued with a 5.7 per cent growth rate during April-August 2017, compared to the year-ago period. The production rose to 259,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2017-18 as against 245,000 tonnes a year ago.
Board said it had been making efforts to increase production and productivity, and reduce the cost of production. The Board is also bringing more untapped areas into production and focusing on skill development to improve field productivity.
The second phase of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project, being implemented in Kerala, Tripura, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, was in its final stage, A Ajith Kumar, chairman and executive director, Rubber
Board, said at an event in kottayam last week, adding that the project proposed to upskill 22,000 labourers in the sector. The project is being run under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
Kumar said the import of natural rubber
had been consistently increasing since 2008-09, reaching 458,374 tonnes in 2015-16. However, in 2016-17, NR imports declined for the first time by 7 per cent to 426,188 tonnes. It further declined by 11.6 per cent during April-August 2017, compared to the corresponding period last year, and 66 per cent of these imports were through a duty-paid channel.
The imports are projected to be 320,000 tonnes in 2017-18, and the consumption 1.07 million tonnes in 2017-18. NR exports during April-August 2017 were 4,152 tonnes. The stock of NR at the end of August 2017 was 232,000 tonnes.
The International Rubber
Study Group (IRSG) forecasts world production and consumption of NR for 2017 at 12.93 million tonnes and 12.88 million tonnes, respectively. According to IRSG, the world NR production and consumption during the first quarter of 2017 increased by 9.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively.
The Association of Natural Rubber
Producing Countries (ANRPC) estimates NR production during the first eight months of 2017 at 8.04 million tonnes and NR consumption at 8.54 million tonnes.