India’s Dec. natural rubber outupt edges up on weather

Tuesday, 4 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

* Imports in Dec. jump 71 pct, consumption down 3.4 pct

* Production to rise in Jan. as well on favourable weather

* Rubber Board trims 2010/11 output estimate to 851,000 T

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s natural rubber output in December edged up by 0.6 percent to 101,500 tonnes as favourable weather allowed farmers to increase tapping, the state-run Rubber Board said in a statement on Monday.

Consumption during the month in the world’s fourth-largest producer fell by 3.4 percent to 77,500 tonnes.

Imports jumped by 71 percent to 10,500 tonnes as tyre makers had signed contracts for December delivery earlier in the year when local rubber prices were higher than global prices, it added.

At present, international prices are higher than local prices.

“Tapping is going on in full swing. In some areas, farmers failed to tap trees that have no rain-guards. Production from such trees will rise in January,” George Valy, president of The Indian Rubber Dealers Federation, told Reuters.

During rainy season, most farmers protect the tapping space on the tree with rain-guards.

Valy said in January the output may stand at around 105,000 tonnes, compared with 97,500 tonnes a year ago.

The spot price of the most traded RSS-4 rubber (ribbed smoked sheet) had hit a record high of 20,750 rupees ($464) per 100 kgs in December, tracking the rally overseas.

The country’s April-December natural rubber production stood at 649,650 tonnes, up 2.8 percent, while imports during the period rose by 7.7 percent to 156,608 tonnes.

The board has also trimmed the production estimate for 2010/11 to 851,000 tonnes against the previous estimate of 893,000 tonnes.