Troubled by a stagnating trend in production, India may soon lose its position as the fourth-largest producer of rubber in the world.
Vietnam, which has seen a fast growth in acreage under rubber in the recent years, may dislodge India from the fourth slot. The fifth-largest producer of rubber, Vietnam’s total planted area saw a cumulative increase of 3,78,700 hectares between 2003 and 2010.
Taking into account this growth, the rubber industry experts say that Vietnam “will soon be ahead of India” in rubber production. We expect this to happen in 2012,” said Vinod T Simon, president of All India Rubber Industries Association.
But the cumulative growth in total planted area achieved by India is 2,30,200 hectares during the same period. Industry’s concern stems from the fact that rubber production in India has not seen any major increase in the last 4-5 years.
India’s production stood at 8.53 lakh tonne in 2006. Though the production increased slightly to 8.81 lakh tonne in 2008, it declined in the subsequent years. In 2010 the production stood at 8.51 lakh tonne. Compared to this, the production in Vietnam has seen a steady increase from 5.55 lakh tonne in 2006 to 6.60 lakh tonne in 2008. It stood at 7.55 lakh tonne in 2010.
India’s projected output for 2011 is 9.02 lakh tonne while that of Vietnam is 7.8 lakh tonne.
A official of the Rubber Board said that Vietnam might take a few more years to emerge as a bigger rubber producer.