Rubber Surges to Record on Supply Concern, Nears 500 Yen/Kg
Rubber jumped by the most in three months, rising to a record as crude oil’s rally boosted the appeal of the commodity and rain in Asian growing regions curbed output, raising concern that supply tightness may worsen.
The July-delivery contract gained as much as 3.8 percent before settling at 489.9 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. In after-hours trading, the most-active contract surged to an all- time high of 499.9 yen a kilogram ($6,120 a metric ton). Transactions in this session will be settled tomorrow.
Oil climbed for a second day as protests in Egypt turned violent, prompting concern that supplies may be disrupted and unrest may spread to other parts of the Middle East. Persistent rainfall in Thailand’s key plantation areas has limited supply, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
“Tight supply of rubber and a strong auto market boosted the price to a new high,” Gu Jiong, an analyst at commodity broker Yutaka Shoji Co., said by phone from Tokyo. “Oil trading above $90 a barrel is also supportive.”
The most-active contract climbed 12 percent last month, extending last year’s 50 percent rally, as supplies from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the top three growers representing 70 percent of global supply, were curbed by rain while rising car sales led by China and India improved demand.
La Nina, which started in June and usually lasts for nine months or more, has led to higher than average rainfall in most parts of Southeast Asia. The weather event’s strength may decrease during the next four months, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said in response to questions, supporting forecasts by the World Meteorological Organization.
The weather event is having a “major impact” on rubber and palm oil production in Malaysia, as heavier rainfall may hamper harvesting and tapping, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said yesterday.
The physical price of natural rubber in Thailand, the world’s largest supplier, advanced to 180.55 baht ($5.84) a kilogram today from 178.55 baht yesterday, the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand said. The price reached a record 181.55 baht on Jan. 25.
Bridgestone Corp., the world’s largest tiremaker, said it will raise tire prices in North America by as much as 8 percent on April 1 because of the increasing cost of raw materials.
The Shanghai market will be closed until Feb. 8 for Lunar New Year holidays. May-delivery rubber in Shanghai climbed to a record 41,850 yuan ($6,350) a ton on Jan. 31.
Natural-rubber consumption in China may rise 9 percent to 3.6 million tons this year and India’s consumption may gain 5.2 percent to 991,000 tons, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries.
China’s natural-rubber inventories rose for the first week in four, adding 126 tons to 58,673 tons, based on a survey of 10 warehouses in Shanghai, Shandong, Yunnan, Hainan and Tianjin, the Shanghai Futures Exchange said on Feb. 1. That was a 61 percent decline from last year’s peak of 151,832 tons.
Car sales growth in China will be around 10 to 15 percent this year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Jan. 10. Total auto sales, which include cars, trucks and buses, jumped 32 percent last year to 18.06 million, the association said.
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