Rubber market opens after 50 days; farmers in shock as price drops drastically

Kochi: After 50 datys of shut down, the rubber trade has resumed in state. However, the prices dropped severely leaving farmers in distress. In most of the shops, a kilogram of rubber was sold at Rs 107. Though rubber board had announced Rs 116/kg, no one was ready to buy at this rate.

Rubber season had ended in February. As it rained for the past few days, rubber tapping was resumed. Though it was expected as a help to farmers who were reeling under poverty, the price drop was a setback.

On March 23, when the rubber trade closed due to lockdown, RSS -4 category was priced Rs 125/kg.

On Wednesday, only one tyre manufacturing company bought rubber. Rubber board centres said sale for Rs 113/kg to Rs 118/kg took place. Another company, is still to obtain booked load of 7500 tons of rubber according to a contract with traders. Wholesale merchants have enough stock.

When this load is obtained, the company may move to the next phase of procuring more rubber stock, which might result in movement in markets, rubber board evaluated. It is also expected that from June, more companies will procure new stock.

A section of traders had resorted to social media to announce the price rate and sell rubber putting farmers in distress. Following this, rubber board opened the trade market before lockdown is lifted. Though a price dip is experienced, farmers are optimistic of government’s plan and expect Rs 150/kg in near future.

Thodupuzha Rubber Marketing Federation President M J Jacob said that farmers who have facilities to store their stock have been asked to wait a bit longer before selling as price is expected to increase.

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