Sri Lanka, the cradle of the global rubber revolution and one of the eleven natural rubber growing countries in the world, only holds the tenth position among the eleven members of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) mainly due to the low production and yield of natural rubber.
Due to the low yield in Sri Lankan rubber plantations and to the rising amounts of domestic consumption, Sri Lanka’s rubber exports have diminished from 120,900 metric tons in 1980 to a mere 16,300 metric tons in 2014, as per the statistics provided by the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
Manufactured from advanced natural compounds through intricate moulding operations, solid rubber tyres include tyres used in forklifts, land mowers, skate boards, golf carts, scooters and many types of industrial vehicles including heavy trucks, carts and trailers. Unlike the pneumatic tyres, solid tyres are not filled with air and can endure high pressure and weight without bursting and are more durable for wear and tear, that occurs when handling industrial type weight.
Started in 1876, with the planting of 1,919 rubber seedlings at the Henerathgoda Botanical Gardens in Gampaha, Sri Lankan that became the origin of an uninterrupted and profitable supply chain of an agricultural commodity, Sri Lankan natural rubber has since acquired the status of an industrial raw material with a global significance.
As the world's Sixth largest rubber exporter and the Seventh largest rubber producing country Sri Lanka produces and delivers an annual turn over of nearly 98,000 metric tons of best natural rubber products including Sheet rubber, crepe rubber, technically specialised rubber varieties, and latex concentrate.
Reclaiming and reusing of old and used tyres is an essential part of rubber production to ensure a sustainable use of a man made product.
For many years scrap and old tyres were burnt and used as a land filing material but the greater toil it has on environment compelled global rubber tyre manufacturers look for other avenues to recycle and reuse the mounting heaps of scraped tyres.
With nearly 5% of the global demand for medical gloves produced by Sri Lanka glove manufacturers, the country plays a large role in global medical supply chain, in ensuring the well being of medical practitioners and patients across the globe.
A comfortable sleep requires a responsive surface for pressure relief and appropriate support for the spine and body shape. While mattress manufacturers have been experimenting with various natural and synthetic material for the last five decades trying to find the best combination for an ideal mattress, natural rubber latex has emerged as one of the most suitable materials to create the dream mattress.
The Plastic and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka CEO Forum recently mooted ideas for improving plastic and rubber industries in Sri Lanka.
While quality adding has been long discussed topic of improvement, it was discussed that branding Sri Lankan rubber will give Sri Lankan rubber a significant boost.
Chairman and CEO of the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, Bandula Egodage, who attended the event said rubber is one of the chief exports in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka's rank in the contribution of rubber exported globally is 32% . However, he also said Sri Lanka's solid tyres rank at the first place in exports, which is a clear indication that there is a market for value added goods rather than just the raw form.
Sri Lanka has been selected to host one of the world’s leading conferences on natural rubber Global Rubber Conference (GRC) 2014.
The three-day international event will be held from 27 to 30 October 2014 at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo.
Global Rubber Conference 2014 themed “Sowing the Seeds for Sustainable Future” is expected to bring together over 700 experts and delegates representing over 25 countries.
The Sri Lankan rubber products manufacturing industry is composed of about 4,530 manufacturing organizations of small, medium and large-scale entities.
Nearly 70-80 percent of the local rubber production is used by these domestic industries. Sabaragamuwa and Western provinces record 87 percent of the total number of rubber industries in the country.
All large and small-scale industries and 80 percent of medium-scale rubber industries can provide employment for trained personnel in rubber technology. Within a relatively short period, this industry has become a reputable major world supplier of quality rubber products.
The total rubber production (raw rubber and value-added) generated over 1.1 billion US dollars in terms of revenue and value-added rubber accounted for 80 percent of total rubber exports.
Last year’s Natural Rubber and Rubber-based product exports from Sri Lanka brought in revenue slightly north of US $800 million. Of this, the highest portion, amounting to nearly US $250 million, went to the USA