After a moderate post-pandemic revival, the price of natural rubber (NR) has crashed to a 16-month low of 150Rs per kg (RSS grade 4) in the Indian market.
Reason of sharp fall in prices:
The current fall in prices is attributed primarily to a weak Chinese demand and the European energy crisis, along with high inflation and an import glut, among other things.
Commercial Plantation Crop: Rubber is made from the latex of a tree called Hevea Brasiliensis.
Rubber is largely perceived as a strategic industrial raw material and accorded special status globally for defence, national security and industrial development.
Conditions for Growth: It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Temperature: Above 25°C with moist and humid climate.
Rainfall: More than 200 cm.
Soil Type: Rich well drained alluvial soil
Natural Rubber in India:
Commercial cultivation of natural rubber was introduced in India by the British, although the experimental efforts to grow rubber on a commercial scale in India were initiated as early as 1873 at the Botanical Gardens, Calcutta.
The first commercial Hevea plantations in India were established at Thattekadu in 1902.
India is currently the world’s fifth largest producer of natural rubber while it also remains the second biggest consumer of the material globally.
About 40% of India’s total natural rubber consumption is currently met through imports.
The auto-tyre manufacturing sector accounted for 73.1% of the total quantity of natural rubber consumption.