Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Feb 14, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Rubco floats tender to export 10,000 tonnes
CHENNAI, Feb. 13
THE Kerala State Rubber Co-operative Ltd (Rubco) has issued a global tender to export 10,000 tonnes of RSS (ribbed smoked sheet) 4 grade rubber as part of efforts to promote the commodity's shipment from the country.
The tender, floated this week, will be valid till March 11. "Right now, the tender is confined only to RSS 4 grade. In due course of time, we will cover all grades for export," a Rubco official told Business Line.
Also, if the response is good, Rubco might be encouraged to offer more, according to trade sources.
The tender offers rubber procured from January this year and has sought offers for export from Kochi port. It also requires a letter of credit to be opened with an international bank. The tender stipulates that the quantity and weight would be final at the port of loading.
The tender also gives exporters an option of appointing an international agency to verify the quality and weight of the shipments.
Rubco's efforts to export rubber are part of a concerted effort launched by the Commerce Ministry and the Kerala Government to prop up sagging rubber prices after they declined to a seven-year low last year. Since then, the Centre had launched a slew of initiatives, including fixing minimum statutory price (MSP), promoting exports and curbing imports.
Rubber prices, which had slipped to Rs 24 a kg for RSS 4 grade towards the second half of 2001, have recovered during the last few weeks, though they are still below MSP. On Wednesday, RSS 4 was quoted at Rs 30 a kg.
"So far, we have exported 15,000 tonnes of RSS 4 and ISNR 20," the Rubco official said.
The shipments have been sent to countries such as Singapore, South Africa, Pakistan, Spain, China and Kenya.
Rubber exports have received a shot in the arm through subsidies announced by the Union and Kerala Governments. For sheet rubber, such as RSS 4, the Centre doles out Rs 3.50 a kg as subsidy, while Kerala foots an equal amount as subsidy. In addition, the Union Government offers a subsidy of 0.75 a kg as handling charges for rubber lifted from producer societies for export.
The Centre also offers Rs 4.50 per kg and Rs 5 per kg subsidies respectively for export of latex and crumb rubber. However, Kerala offers only a subsidy of Rs 2 a kg for these.
Encouraged by the subsidy, a joint venture firm set up by the Kerala-based R.K. Latex and Mardec International Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, has come forward to export 20,000 tonnes rubber, while Malaysia has also offered to buy the commodity on a large-scale from the country.
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