By Kavita Desai
On ICEX, the most-active December contract of rubber ended at 13,238 rupees per 100 kg, up 48 rupees from Thursday’s close.
“Currently, the market is facing a rubber shortage of around 35% and the supply crunch is likely to deepen as recent rains in Kerala, the key grower, has hindered tapping activity,” said Thaha Mohamed, owner of Sara Traders based in Kottayam.
Another factor seen supporting the prices in the domestic market is decline in imports of the commodity, traders said.
In Kerala’s Kottayam and Kochi markets, the RSS-4 variety of natural rubber remained unchanged at 131.0 rupees per kg despite weak supply.
In global markets, the benchmark May rubber futures on Tokyo Commodity Exchange ended down at 186.7 yen (around 122 rupees) a kg, down 0.2% from the previous close.
However, likelihood of global supply taking a hit could support prices going ahead. The Rubber Authority of Thailand has estimated that 64,000 ha of rubber crop has been affected in southern Thailand due to pest attack. Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia produce around 70% of the world’s natural rubber.
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:
Edited by Mainak Moitra