The fall in natural rubber prices in India

The fall in natural rubber prices in India

The fall in natural rubber prices in India

#GS-03 Agriculture

For Prelims

About the Rubber Tree:

  • Scientific Name: Hevea brasiliensis
  • Hevea brasiliensis is a tall deciduous tree capable of growing to a height of up to 43 m.
  • The milky latex extracted from the wood of the tree is the primary source of natural rubber.
  • The Rubber Tree was indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and was later transported to South and South East Asia during the 19th Century.

About Natural Rubber:

  • Natural Rubber also called India rubber or Amazonian rubber consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, along with minor impurities of other organic compounds.
  • The Olmecs of Mesoamerica were the earliest civilisations to extensively use latex in their daily commodities.
  • Rubber is produced from the milky Latex of the Rubber tree through a process known as Vulcanisation.
  • Vulcanisation refers to an array of processes for hardening rubbers traditionally by treating Natural Rubber with Sulphur.
  • Thomas Hancock was the first person to patent vulcanization of rubber in 1845.
  • It was Hancock’s friend William Brockedon who coined term ‘vulcanization’.

Rubber Production:

  • Thailand is the largest producer of natural rubber in the world followed by Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • India currently is the world’s fifth largest producer of natural rubber and is the second biggest consumer of the material globally.
  • Kerala is the largest producer of natural rubber in India and accounts for nearly 75% of the total production in the country.

About Rubber Board:

  • Government of India created a statutory body, Rubber Board under Rubber Act 1947 for the overall development of the rubber industry in the country.
  • It is Headquartered in Kottayam, Kerala.

For Mains

What are causes of fall in the price of Rubber?

  • The zero COVID strategy in China, which is the largest consumer of rubber at about 42% of the global volume, has resulted in a drastic reduction in demand.
  • The domestic tire industry has large volume of inventory especially in the form of block rubber from the Ivory Coast and compounded rubber from the Far East which further reduces the demand.