Rubber is losing its elasticity in stretching to meet industry demands due to a crisis of shortage and spiralling prices of one of its basic raw material, Carbon Black (CB), which is likely to shut down rubber products manufacturing units and cause immense loss of jobs – besides causing a severe setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission Make In India programme.
With the Indian Government restricting import of CB from China, Russia and other countries, Small & Medium Enterprises (SME and MSME) are suffering immense business losses in paying high premiums to companies for buying this raw material, according to Kamal Chowdhury, President, All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA).
“The impact of CB shortage is so severe that 1,000-plus affected SMES units are on the verge of closure with loss of around two lakh jobs, even as the entire industry is losing about Rs 750 crores every month,” he said while urging the Indian Government to urgently make policy amendments such as: Permit to import carbon black without duty; Restricting exports of carbon black till local supply position eases; Reviewing anti-dumping duty on carbon black; and Pushing for cost-audit of carbon black-producing companies in India.
“Carbon black is a reinforcing material and filler in rubber products in both tyre and non-tyre segments. The rubber industry is predicted to grow at 8.42% CAGR in 2016-2020 -- but has stagnated in last few years -- despite current demand being 12.85 tonnes against capacity of 9.5 lakh tonnes. One major carbon black manufacturer has closed down in Delhi NCR. There is a massive shortage of about four lakh tonnes per annum, which is more than 30% of capacity,” he said.
India’s rubber industry, which manufactures over 35,000 different rubber products used in Auto, Defence, Healthcare, Agriculture and other niche areas, is estimated to be at Rs 75,000 crore and 90% of the 6,000-plus rubber products manufacturing units are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which account for 40% of rubber product exports, AIRIA stated.