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Is this against rubber cultivators?

December ‘07 rubber output up 10.1 per cent

MUMBAI: Natural rubber production rose 10.1 per cent in December 2007 due to higher tapping, a senior Rubber Board official said on Thursday. Production in December was 112,000 tonnes, compared with 101,680 tonnes a year ago, the official, who did not want to be identified, told media.

“Tapping has increased in the last two months due to clear weather and high prices,” said the official. In India, peak tapping season starts in October and ends in January. Natural rubber prices have increased more than 15 per cent since September and breached even Rs 100 during November.

Higher production led to more exports during December. Exports of natural rubber rose to 2,539 tonnes, compared with only 941 tonnes during the same period last year. Consequently imports declined 34 per cent to 7,192 tonnes.

“We will exceed our export target due to rise in production,” the official said. The Rubber Board trimmed its 2007/08 export target to 25,500 tonnes in November 2007 from an earlier estimate of 70,000 tonnes due to a drop in production during the monsoon season and rise in domestic consumption.

India exported 56,545 tonnes in 2006/07. Total production in April-December fell 6.4 per cent to 619,850 tonnes due to loss in tapping days caused by heavy rainfall and a mosquito-spread fever during monsoon season.

Rubber futures fall on weak global market
MUMBAI: Indian rubber futures fell on Wednesday tracking a weak international market and on higher arrivals, analysts said.

“Weak Tokyo market pulled down the prices here…higher arrivals were also putting continuous pressure,” said Alex Mathews, an analyst with Geojit Financial Services Ltd.

Tokyo rubber futures ended down on Wednesday after a rise in early trade was reversed by stop-loss selling prompted by a retreat of gold prices from a record high.

Total stocks in National Multi-Commodity Exchange warehouses rose to 7,981 tonnes as on January 8, compared with 7,778 tonnes the previous day, according to data available on the exchange’s Web site.

However, firm oil prices supported the market, checking a further fall, said an analyst with a Delhi-based commodity brokerage.

Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday as threats of disruptions to Nigeria’s oil supply and falling US crude stocks outweighed concerns about the economy of the US, the world’s biggest energy consumer.

Natural rubber prices often benefit from high crude oil prices because investors believe expensive oil will encourage a shift to natural rubber from synthetic rubber, a petroleum product.

Courtesy: Economic Times

‘Allow duty-free import of 1 lakh tonnes rubber’

Industries body seeks removal of commodity from futures trading list

‘Demand shortfall could be around 1 lakh tonnes and may lead to a further spurt in the prices of natural rubber.’

Mohan Padmanabhan

Kolkata Jan. 11 The All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), citing heavy shortage of natural rubber (NR), has pleaded for the duty-free import of 1 lakh tonnes of rubber through a designated agency for distribution to the domestic sector. This is because 49,800 tonnes of NR, as imported under Duty Exemption Entitlement Certificate licence, are meant for export production with no relevance to domestic demand.

The president of AIRIA, Mr M.F. Vohra, said the rubber goods sector needed to be unshackled from many controls that were holding back the industry’s growth. He told Business Line that while opportunities exist across all sectors of the rubber industry, key constraints like uncertain supply situation, volatility of NR prices, high import duties on NR and latex, and the extra cost burden owing to anti-dumping duties (on items like EPDM rubber) need to be eliminated without any further delay.

The rubber goods sector comprising some 6,000 units (large scale, medium and tiny sector) and commanding an annual turnover of nearly Rs 29,000 crore, employs close to four lakh persons.

Citing high input costs and NR availability as the two main constraints currently facing the Indian rubber industry, Mr Vohra said the consumption of NR may well outstrip production, especially after the NR production loss in the last few months owing to chikunguniya and excess rains. The shortfall could amount to around 1 lakh tonnes, and may also lead to a further spurt in NR prices, it is feared.

Pointing out that an inverted duty structure on rubber and latex has been allowed to continue throughout the year, Mr Vohra said while duties on finished rubber products had been brought down to 10 per cent, duties on NR and latex had remained unaltered at 20 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

Commenting on the Association’s plea to the Government to remove NR from the commodity list of futures trading, he said it had benefited neither the planters nor the consumers of NR. Citing manipulation in prices through futures trading, AIRIA is of the view that quite a few traders and fly-by-night operators involved in futures trading were still not registered with the Rubber Board. He lamented that there were still no concerted efforts being made to regulate such traders.

Mr Vohra said though port restriction on NR import has been lifted, the time-consuming compulsory inspection of imported NR through quality checks by the Rubber Board personnel was still continuing, much to the chagrin of the industry. This was said to result in the holding up of export consignments at the port and thrust additional detention/demurrage charges affecting the export trade.

Courtesy: Thehindubusinessline

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