Amid rise in rubber prices tyre industry braced for a slow growth in 2017.
Natural rubber consumers, the tyre industry in particular, anticipate subdued growth in the first half of 2017, even as producers expect better prospects this year with an increase in prices.
The prices of the commercially important RSS 4 variety are at a five month-high of Rs 139 per kg. “The bullish trend will continue as the demand in China, the largest consumer, is going up,” said CP Krishnan, whole-time director of Geofin Comtrade “The crude oil price is also looking up, lifting the synthetic rubber prices. This will reflect on the Indian natural rubber sector as well.”
The international Rs 159 per kg, prices, at Rs 20 above the Indian prices, making imports unviable. Imports of natural rubber touched a record 458,374 tonnes in 2015-16. In the first eight months of this financial year, imports increased 8 per cent from a year ago. The international prices began rising in December. “The output in largest producing country, Thailand, is down. It has been made up to a certain extent by the mounting production in Vietnam. The domestic prices should touch Rs 150 before March,” Krishnan said.