India’s natural rubber exports slumped to just 94 tonnes in May compared with 3,159 tonnes in the same month last year, as domestic prices far exceeded global rates, according to state-run Rubber Board.
The shipment continued to slump since the beginning of this fiscal on high domestic prices and the country exported only 724 tonnes of natural rubber in April against 3,690 tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal.
“Domestic prices of natural rubber were ruling far above the international price, making the shipment a less profitable option. While the average domestic price of the natural variety touched Rs 9,805 a quintal in May, that in the global market was ruling at Rs 8,300 a quintal,” a senior board official told PTI.
However, the decline in prices in the overseas market prompted domestic traders to purchase more from overseas boosting imports, which surged by 31 per cent to 14,322 tonnes against 9,950 tonnes in the year-ago period.
An industry expert said the increase in import was due to the revival of demand from the automobile sector, coupled with the wide variation in the domestic and global prices.
Indian automobile companies prefer natural to synthetic rubber to manufacture tyres.