ERJ staff report (BC)
There has been no rubber tapping in Kerala, India for more than two weeks because of monsoon rains, Huileng Tan of the Wall Street Journal reports an industry official as saying.
"Supply is extremely tight in the domestic markets as there's been no production in the last 19 days," President of the Indian Rubber Dealers Federation George Valy said.
Buyers in the world's second-largest consumer of natural rubber have been forced to look overseas for supply. Farmers are not releasing stocks because they are waiting for prices to rise more, the official said. Stocks at the end of May were an estimated 235 000 tonnes, the India Rubber Board is quoted as saying last week.
Rubber imports by India may rise this year to 225 000-230 000 tonnes, Valy said. The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries is reported as projecting that India will import 183 000 tonnes this year. India imported 250 300 tonnes of natural rubber in 2012.
There has been interest from buyers in India recently but bids from Indian buyers are low because the rupee is weak, traders in Southeast Asia said. The rupee fell to a new low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday; this is attributed to suggestions by the U.S. Federal Reserve that it will soon taper bond buying.
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Full story from Wall Street Journal