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India's natural rubber imports and production in 2018 may be at the same level for the first time, given the increase in consumption and the decline in production.
The Rubber Board of India has lowered its rubber production target for 2018-19 from 700,000 tons to 600,000 tons, which caused a sharp drop in production in the first half due to adverse weather. The agency expects India to import 600,000 tons of rubber this year.
The country's rubber production in 2017/18 is 694,000 tons.
In the seven months to October, India's natural rubber production fell 10% from the same period to 344,000 tons, while consumption increased by 16% to 716,400 tons during the same period, so the country's imports jumped 35% to 356,255 tons.
CJ Augustine, secretary of the Indian Rubber Dealers Federation, said: "In the current environment, production and imports are likely to be the same." After September, the amount of tapping has improved. In October alone, rubber production reached 67,000 tons, an increase of 5,000 tons year-on-year.
However, the country's domestic rubber prices have followed the decline in international rubber prices, which may have spurred the aggressiveness of small-scale growers. The price of rubber sheets has fallen by 6% this month.
Although it has reached the harvest season, although it has increased compared with the previous months, the output has not reached the expected level. Due to the cheaper imported rubber available, the tire companies' demand for domestic rubber is relatively light.
India's rubber production in 2011/12 hit a record high of 903,000 tons, when consumption was 964,000 tons and imports were 214,000 tons. In the last four years, the decline in production and the increase in consumption have pushed imports to over 400,000 tons.