By Rahul Dhuri
MUMBAI – Futures contracts of rubber on the Indian Commodity Exchange ended higher today, tracking gains in the key spot markets of Kerala, traders said. The most-active April contract ended at 13,065 rupees per 100 kg, up 0.4% from Monday.
Natural rubber prices rose in the key markets of Kerala due to the ongoing supply crunch in the market after a lean production season and improved demand from stockists, said C.J Augustine, owner of Chettiparambil Traders based in Idukki.
The lean season, which started from mid-March, will continue till May-end as tapping activity has been halted in the key growing regions of Kerala.
In Kochi and Kottayam, prices of the widely-traded RSS-4 rubber were at 128-129 rupees per kg, up 1 rupee from Monday, traders said. However, data from India’s Rubber Board showed that prices of the RSS-4 variety in Kottayam and Kochi remained unchanged at 128.50 rupees per kg.
Gains in the benchmark contracts on Tokyo Commodity Exchange also supported contracts on ICEX.
After trading 1% lower in the early trade, rubber futures on TOCOM ended higher on expectations of a rise in demand from China, the largest consumer of rubber, and due to gains in crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, analysts said.
The most-active September natural rubber contract on the Japanese bourse ended at 188.8 yen (117.56 rupees) per kg, up 0.6% from the previous close.
In Thailand, the price of RSS-3 grade rubber was down 64 cents at $176.10 per 100 kg. In Malaysia, the SMR-20 grade variety was at $150.90 per 100 kg, down $1.95 from the previous close, according to Rubber Board data.
The following table shows today’s closing prices of rubber, in rupees per kg, as detailed by the Rubber Board, and the change in prices, in rupees, compared with the previous close:
Rubber contracts on ICEX are unlikely to gain much this week, even though the benchmark contracts on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange are likely to rise, analysts said.
In the week ahead, benchmark rubber contracts are expected to move positively on the TOCOM due to a fall in global production and likely rise in demand on the back of improved Chinese purchasing managers’ index data for March. End
US$1 = 69.29 rupees
Edited by Maheswaran Parameswaran