India's rubber imports remain high
According to Singapore's news on March 15, India's rubber imports are currently maintained at a high level, despite the downturn in rubber production from September to February of the following year.
Although India's annual rubber production is expected to fall to 518,000 tonnes in the current market, down from 546,500 tonnes in the previous year, consumption has risen by 6,000 tonnes.
The Rubber Board of India has lowered its rubber production forecast for this marketing year twice, from 960,000 tonnes to 870,000 tonnes, before continuing to cut to 850,000 tonnes. This highlights the declining trend of rubber output in India.
India's rubber production from April last year to February this year was only 780,000 tonnes, making it difficult for the country to meet its forecast of 850,000 tonnes. In the 2012-13 financial year, rubber production in April-February was only 860,000 tonnes.
Industry sources estimate India's rubber output at 820,000-830,000 tonnes.
According to data released by the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), India's rubber production has slipped to fifth place among all member countries of the organization, behind Vietnam and China. India's rubber production in 2012 was the fourth largest among ANRPC member countries, after Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. But in 2013-14, India's rubber output ranking will fall further, as the country's rubber production in the traditional high-yield period fell.
Thai tire makers should express their unease at the country's tight supply of natural rubber in the current market year. Rajiv Budhraja, chairman of the Automobile Tire Manufacturers Association (ATMA), said that in the past, during the peak annual rubber production period, India's domestic natural rubber supply was not a cause for concern.