Widening gap between domestic demand and supply of Natural Rubber is a matter of concern for the domestic Tyre Industry. Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) has asked for easing the availability of NR for consuming interests.

The consumption of NR by Tyre Industry continues to witness a steady growth. The commitment of Tyre Industry to increase production footprint in the country needs to be supported by increasing the supply of raw materials otherwise it will leave domestic manufacturing uncompetitive.

According to ATMA, imports of NR are imperative for tyre plants to run. However the policy environment is highly restrictive. Custom Duty (on NR Imports) is at 25%, much higher than the rate of duty levied by any other NR importing country.

ATMA has objected to terming the NR imports as “unwarranted” stating that imports are NOT ‘unwarranted’ but “essential” as the NR consuming sectors have no other option but to import the required quantity of NR to bridge the domestic deficit. NR imports are in sync with the domestic gap and hence are essential. The export of NR from India is insignificant which clearly indicates that nearly the entire domestic production is fully consumed within the country and NR import is important to meet further demand.

Tyre Industry consumes approx. 70% of total NR consumption in the country (reflects its high significance of mobility, whether for defence, State Transport Undertakings, movement of food-grains and other essential items by trucks across the country or for personal transportation by various means of transportation).