Halt on rubber imports to stabilise prices
The Government has decided to stop importing natural rubber to
stabilise prices in the local market.
Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa at a
media briefing to announce Cabinet decisions said the Cabinet has
granted approval for a memorandum submitted by Plantation Industries
Minister D. M. Jayarathna to put a stop to natural rubber imports.
The price of natural rubber has recorded a steady decline since
September due to the global economic melt down. Today, the price has
decreased from Rs.398 per Kilo in May to Rs.120, which is considered to
be even lower than the production cost.
At the beginning of December, the average production cost of a sheet
of rubber stood at Rs.125.
Around 150,000 families directly and 1,500,000 indirectly make their
livelihoods through the rubber industry. The total rubber extent is
119,543 hectares of which the small holders sector covers 69,676
The import of natural rubber for production activities is considered
one of the root causes for the the price decline. The initiative to stop
imports is expected to up the prices in the local market.