Natural rubber production jumped by 23% from a year earlier and stood at 6.90 lakh tones (LT) during 2016-17. The production has surpassed the target of 6.54 LT set by the Rubber Board for 2016-17. The production increased 67% in the month of March 2017 and stood at 55,000 tonnes from the same period last year. The output had plunged to the lowest in two decades at 5.62 LT in 2015-16.
The exports from the country during the last financial year touched four-year high of 20,010 tonnes, whereas these were only 865 tonnes in 2015-16. The better performance has been attributed to higher prices in both the international and domestic markets in the second half of the year and the measures taken by the board to improve output and productivity.
The rubber consumption in the country has recorded a 5% increase to 1.04 LT for the year. The import after rising for the last few years due to lower international prices showed a decline of 7 % at 4.26 LT during 2016-17. It had touched an all-time-high of 4.58 LT in the previous year with the production in the country tumbling.