Kottayam (Kerala), May 31 : A peak rise in prices of natural rubber in India has forced the industries to source whatever stocks available in the market hit by crop-loss and influenced by booming crude oil prices.
Commenting on these developments, experts have opined that the growers are holding back their stocks hoping the prices may further increase.
Further they have noted that the rise in the prices of Indian rubber is nothing extraordinary considering the crude oil prices experienced around the world.
According to Rubber Board, the apex body overseeing the production and marketing of raw and pre-processed rubber, so far in the month of May the most traded RSS-4 (Ribbed Smoked Sheet) grade in Kottayam market in Kerala has risen more than 15 per cent to hit new high of 13,350 rupees per tonne.
Earlier, it had increased by 12 per cent since the suspension of futures trading in rubber was imposed on May 8.
It may be recalled that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government suspended future trading in soya-oil, rubber, chickpea and potato for four months to rein in soaring prices.
"Well, our labour and the rains which followed the dry climate have certainly benefited us but I feel more than us the dealers of rubber sheets are better gainers since they can sell even old stocks at the newly quoted prices. Nonetheless, it has been very fruitful for the trade," said P C Varkey, owner of a rubber plantation.
In April, the production rose by 6.2 per cent to touch the figure of 57,000 tonnes whereas the demand jumped by 13.2 per cent, which meant the need for 74,000 tonnes.
"No doubt, the market prices have risen in tune with the demand. Yes, earlier what ten RSS sheets used to fetch the rubber plantation owners is made up these days even with just five sheets. Yes speculative trading has been banned and we are keeping a track on the market. All said and done, the prices are on the rise and the buyers will have to bear the cost," said Joy, manager of raw rubber trading company.
India is world's fourth largest rubber producer.
Tokyo rubber futures climbed to a fresh 28-year high above 345 yen per kg earlier this week as concerns about supplies, mainly from Thailand, and strong oil prices prompted fund buying.
Meanwhile, officials of the Rubber Board that functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are keeping a close watch on the on-going developments right from the plantation stage to marketing.
The rates in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are also closely watched to manage the overall market mechanism.