LONDON (Feb. 24) — India officially will become the 17th member nation of the International Rubber Study Group on April 1, according to the organization.
IRSG membership is open to both producers and consumers of natural and synthetic rubber, and India is a world leader in both categories, an IRSG news release said. In 2004 the country consumed 968,000 tons of rubber, placing it fourth behind China, the U.S. and Japan.
In that same year, it produced 745,700 tons of natural rubber — placing it fourth behind Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia — as well as more than 70,000 tons of reclaimed rubber and an unstated amount of synthetic rubber.
Since 1960, India´s rate of rubber consumption has grown an average of 6.8 percent annually, and its NR production an average of 8 percent annually, the release said.