Kerala’s income from rubber could witness sharp increase

June 17th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, June 17 (IANS) Kerala’s income from rubber could witness a sizeable increase if the price of natural rubber remains at the current level. The price now hovers around a record level of Rs.120 per kg. Kerala is the largest producer of rubber in the country.

Officials at the Rubber Board, which promotes the production of natural rubber in the country, say the income from rubber could be substantial if the current price holds throughout the year. They expect India’s rubber production to touch 875,000 tonnes in 2008-09 against 825,000 tonnes in the previous year.

According to the Rubber Board statistics, the total income generated from rubber in 2007-08 was around Rs.75.8 billion ($1.8 billion) in the country. The average price of RSS 4 grade (ribbed smoked sheet) was Rs.90.85 per kg.

With Kerala contributing 92 percent of the total rubber produced, the state’s share for 2007-08 was estimated around Rs.69 billion.

“Given the current prices, this year the income from rubber cultivation could be more. But it is not possible to give an exact projection as prices could vary in coming months,” an official told IANS on condition on anonymity.

“It was the rise in crude oil price that helped the increase in the price of natural rubber,” he added.

Crude oil derivatives are used in production of synthetic rubber, which is an alternative to natural rubber. This makes rubber price sensitive to changes in the global oil market. In March this year, the average rubber price was Rs.103.54 per kg.

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