Monday, November 29, 1999

Rubber production will rise due to increased acreage: Expert

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Kochi, June 18 (PTI) Natural rubber production is expected to rise during the June-August period as there has been an increase in the acreage compared to the previous year, experts said today. "The area under natural rubber has increased by 9,000 hectares this year. So, even if tapping decreases for a week or so, which is a normal phenomenon, it would not have much impact on the production," a senior Rubber Board official said. Industry experts are also of the view that the monsoon would not hit the rubber output as farmers are adopting the ''rain-guarding'' technique to make sure that tapping is not affected. Production in this month as well as the next two would be more than the previous year, he noted. "We have estimated the rubber production in June at 58,000 tonnes, which is about 7 per cent higher than what it was in the same month last year. What I mean to say is that the heavy rains will not affect the output in the months ahead," he said. He said that even in July and August, the output would be higher at 50,000 tonnes and 72,000 tonnes respectively. "If you compare the monsoon months'' production with that of peak months, only then will there be a case for a fall in output. Else, there will be more rubber in coming months when compared to last year. There will be good availability," Rubber Dealers'' Association president George Valy said. Valy said that the prices were likely to remain stable on account of expectations of normal supply. The price of natural rubber (RSS-4 variety) had stabilised at Rs 168-170.5 a kg only by the beginning of June. Over the last two months, rates had been fluctuating between a record high of Rs 172 and Rs 149 a kg. Natural rubber production increased by 2 per cent to 54,600 tonnes in May, compared to 53,550 tonnes in the same month last year. The Rubber Board has projected an output of 8.93 lakh tonnes for the 2010-11 fiscal, which is 7.4 per cent higher than 8.31 lakh tonnes in FY''10.

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