India’s ATMA Calls for the Elimination of Rubber Duties
Days after Indian tyre manufacturers and their representative body, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), called for a reduction of duties on natural rubber imports into the country, ATMA appears to be calling for duties to be scrapped entirely. According to India’s The Hindu newspaper, lobbying for an elimination of tariffs has been paired with lobbying for the government to encourage the export of value added products rather than raw rubber.
“The government should encourage greater value addition in the rubber industry through export of tyres and other rubber products rather than exports of natural rubber,” ATMA said in a statement quoted by The Hindu. Additional comments from ATMA director general Rajiv Budhraja, to the effect that ATMA has urged the government to allow duty-free import of natural rubber on priority basis to facilitate value addition, were also reported: “Such exports would further widen the growing gap between consumption and availability of natural rubber in the country.”
According to ATMA, the domestic production of natural rubber is estimated at 819,000 tons in the current fiscal year, while domestic consumption by the tyre and non-tyre sectors is 857,000 tons. Natural rubber accounts for 42 per cent of raw material costs for India’s tyre industry, says ATMA, therefore manufacturers are concerned over the continued increases in the price of this commodity and supply issues. ATMA added that the growth of domestic tyre production in India may be seriously impacted should the status quo remain in regards to natural rubber.