Rubber Industry

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Rubber Industry
Natural Rubber is produced from plants of rubber (Hiveabrasilesis) as distinct from synthetic rubber manufactured from chemical polymerisation of various monomers. Currently rubber plantation in many tropical regions has become important part of the national economy. Rubber plants generally have 32 years of economic life and may live upto 100 years or more than that Natural rubber is one of the most important agro-based industrial raw materials in the world. An important ingredient in tyre making, rubber is also used widely in the manufacture of a slew of non-tyre goods. Tyre and non-tyre grade rubber is made out of latex obtained from rubber tree. The rubber is processed to convert to storable and marketable form. An important ingredient in tyre making, rubber is also used widely in the manufacture of a slew of non-tyre goods. The rubber industry produces wide range of products catering to, belts, battery covers etc. block rubber, preserved latex creeps and sheets are some forms in which rubber is used and preserved. Natural rubber is cultivated mainly in the seven countries, namely - Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, China and Sri Lanka.  These countries together account for around 93% of the Global Natural Rubber supply. India is the fourth largest producer after Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

World Production:

Source: Monthly Rubber Statistical news

World area under rubber plantation and yield:
(In Thousand Hectares) |
Territory | End of | Total Area |
Indonesia | 2005 | 3,279.0 |
Thailand | 2005 | 2,133.0 |
Malaysia | 2005 | 1,250.0 |
China | 2004 | 600.0 |
India | 2006 | 615.0 |
Vietnam | 2005 | 465.0 |
Brazil | 2005 | 118.0 |
Sri Lanka | 2003 | 128.9 |
Nigeria | 1999 | 150.0 |
Liberia | 1999 | 108.9 |
Myanmar | 1995 | 104.8 |
Cote dʹIvoire | 2005 | 118.0 |
Philippines | 1999 | 92.0 |
Cameroon | 2005 | 40.4 |
Source: Rubber Board on India report
Typically, the rubber plantations give yield only after 6 years and are productive for about 25 years. The above chart gives us details on the area under plantation in the main producing countries in the world. India has plantation area of 615ha and as per Rubber Board of India statistics ,India now occupies first rank in terms of productivity at 1,879kg/ha.

World Consumption:

Source: Monthly Rubber Statistical news
China being the fastest growing economy in the world is the largest consumer with overall 26 % of the world market. The next major importer is USA at 1041 thousand tonnes. India is the fourth largest consumer of the world market of about 881 thousand tonnes annually.

Raw material Process:
Natural rubber collected from the small holders in various forms and separated into specific grades based on a visual inspection. One of which is called unsmoked sheet. Once these sheets went to the factory and gone through the smoking process, the smoked sheet were then compressed into various sized bales.  This material consists of deliberately coagulated rubber sheets, completely dried using smoke. These sheets are then graded into 5 grades according to their colours, consistency and observed impurities. However currently the grading has reduced to 4 types. The pureness is RSS1 then RSS3 then RSS4 and RSS5. RSS (Ribbed Smoked Sheet) is sold in standard pack of 111.11 kgs or designated for small bales of 33.33 kgs or 35 kgs wrapped in dispersible polyethylene bag. Crate size is 1,200 kgs or 1,260 kgs. RSS are used when extra tough though rubber is needed (due to extensive cross linking). Some applications are tires, tank liners, industrial products, etc. RSS is generally more difficult to process than TSR(Technically Specified Natural rubber).  Standard grade is 60 % concentrated latex- specification for general purpose requirement. They have been technically specified for many years in...
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