The Rubber Board has projected a deficit of 64,000 tonnes in the domestic production-consumption of natural rubber (NR) in the current financial year. According to Sheela Thomas, the Board chairman, for the first time in history, total consumption will cross the million-tonne mark.
She was speaking at the 168th meeting of the Board at Kottayam. She said production and consumption of NR for 2012-13 were projected at 942,000 tonnes and 1.06 million tonnes (mt), respectively, with a deficit of 64,000 tonnes. However, there would not be any shortage in the domestic market, as the projected opening stock in April is 230,000 tonnes. Also, the rubber consuming industry can import around 120,000 tonnes through duty-free channels.
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) had forecast world production and consumption of NR at 11.32 mt and 11.29 mt, respectively, with a surplus of 31,000 tonnes during 2012. Global NR production and consumption in 2013 would be 11.91 mt and 11.84 mt, respectively, with a surplus of 74,000 tonnes. However, this surplus is not significant in leading the global NR market to any direction, she said.
NR production in India increased 4.3 per cent during FY12. “The sector’s growth would continue without much fluctuation, though many countries are still under economic uncertainties. The threat of a slowdown in economic activities eased, with recovery in the US and better policies in the euro zone. Economic activities are expected to remain relatively strong in most of the emerging and developing economies. The oil price is also projected to move around the current rates and supply tightness of NR is likely to continue. Thin NR production-consumption balance and low inventories could lead to a volatile market responding to weather, currency and speculative factors,” she added.