Speaking to Business Standard
at the sidelines of the 124th Annual Conference of the United Planters Association of Southern India
(UPASI), N Rajagopal, secretary in-charge of the Rubber
Board, said import of NR had risen consistently since 2008-09, reaching 458,374 tonnes in 2015-16. In 2016-17, it declined for the first time, by seven per cent to 426,434 tonnes, and was expected to come down to 320,000 tonnes in 2017-18.
The value of import in 2016-17 was Rs 4,521 crore, compared to Rs 4,672 crore, a year ago. Duty-free import accounted for 23 per cent of the total.
Board data show production
rose to 691,000 tonnes in 2016-17, from 562,000 tonnes in 2015-16. Consumption was 1,044,075 tonnes in 2016-16, compared to 994,415 tonnes, an increase of five per cent.
Rajagopal expects production
of 800,000 tonnes in 2017-18, while consumption will be 1,070,000 tonnes. In 2016-17, productivity per kg/ha was 1,563 tonnes, compared to 1,437 tonnes in 2015-16. The share of untapped area dropped to 24 per cent, from 30 per cent in 2015-16. In 2013-14, share of untapped area was eight per cent.
The board is taking measures to increase the untapped area, by adding new regions in new states, said Rajagopal. Recently, the tyre manufacturers’ association visited Tripura, and they are convinced about the quality and supply. The automotive tyre sector
accounts for two-third of NR consumption.
Rajagopal said NR export increased to Rs 220.9 crore in 2016-17, from Rs 8.3 crore in 2015-16.
"We have got potential to annually produce 900,000 tonnes,” said Rajagopal. India
is currently the sixth largest producer of NR, with five per cent of world production.
It continues to be the second largest consumer of NR, with 8.2 per cent of world consumption.
The value of NR production
is estimated to be Rs 9,300 crore annually and turnover of the rubber
manufacturing industry around Rs 75,000 crore. Export of rubber
is Rs 18,500 crore, including Rs 10,000 crore from the tyre sector.
Import of rubber
products is Rs 8,640 crore.