According to D Anandan, chairman and secretary of the board, the damages are in the form of tree loss, income loss, wage loss, as the floods have had a significant impact on overall production.
The loss in tapping days and abnormal leaf fall after the disaster may impact production in the 2018-19 season. The board has estimated a production dip of approximately137,000tonnes. Total production through the year could be around 600,000 tonnes.
Speaking at the Indian Rubber Meet in Kochi, Anandan mentioned that external factors such as an increase in global rubber production, rise in crude oil prices, subdued demand for natural rubber in China, and the weak revival of the US economy are pulling down prices. However, several international agencies have projected a revival in prices in the short term.
Anandan said the Indian rubber industry aims to organise a regular forum for interaction, networking, and exchange of information.
Critical conditions such as depressed raw-material prices, declining product sales, an economic slowdown, speculative factors, global warming and so on are affecting the sustainability of rubber and related sectors. The last three rubber meets could create a strong platform of stakeholder associations to formulate appropriate strategies for ensuring balanced and sustained growth of the rubber industry.
Particpation at the meet has been growing and about 227 small and medium growers have registered against the board’s target of 200.