26 Dec 2014
KOCHI,INDIA(Commodity Online): Christmas is over. As the world celebrated the birthday of Jesus Christ on a merry note the Rubber farmers in Kerala, the southern Indian state, had their own reasons for not to be merry.
The Christmas market in towns like Kottayam and Pala has been dull as the fall in rubber prices put a dent on the celebrations. Kerala accounts for over 90% to the total rubber output of India. Among this Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki are the main contributors which earned them the name the ‘Rubber Belt’ of the country.
As statistics from the Rubber Board shows there is a hige decline in the earnings of the rubber farmers this year. An article in Times of India has quoted Jom jacob, deputy director, department of statistics and planning, Rubber Board, in which he says there is a decline of roughly Rs 3,500 crore in the annual earnings of rubber farmers in Kerala.
“The average price of RSS-4 grade rubber was Rs 166 per kg during the financial year 2013-14, which declined to Rs 119 during November 2014,” Jacob says. Hence the loss of Rs 3,500 crore.
The huge loss suffered by the farmers has reflected on the Christmas market as the farmers cut their spending on Christmas shopping. The local economy suffered on the Christmas day mainly due to the cut in Christmas spending by the farmers.
Local sellers told Times of India that the fall in rubber prices affected the Christmas market with creating a loss of 60%. Textiles, luxury car segment, appliances market and the bakery segment had to bear the brunt as the planters decided to keep a low profile on Christmas shopping.
Last week, the top tyre companies agreed to purchase rubber at a rate which is 25 percent higher than the daily prevailing price at the Bangkok rubber market. The new arrangement will continue till the end of this fiscal which is likely to give some lifeline to the rubber plantation industry.
– Commodity Online
26 Dec 2014