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Natural rubber (NR) prices, both in the spot and futures market, fell despite a drop in production. For the last two-three years, the fundamentals on account of heavy price variations in futures trading. During February-May (off season for rubber plantation), the prices normally move northward, but in the last two-three years, the reverse has been happening.

Market sources said that a price of over Rs 100 a kg was expected during the off season, but due to a relatively high domestic stock ( 193,000 tonnes by the end of 2007), prices had started coming down.
Thanks to increase in imports, which is expected to be over 90,000 tonnes by March, domestic stock of NR may cross 220,000 tonnes by January end. But the loss in production during the next four months cannot be full compensated by this as consumption would easily outpace production.
According to an estimate by Rubber Board, the total production in February & March is expected to be 101,000 tonnes (53,000 tonnes in February and 48,000 tonnes in March). April and may will also see low production due to high temperature. The out put will get a boost only by June with the advent of monsoon in Kerala.

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