By Rahul Dhuri
MUMBAI – The most-active March contract of rubber on the Indian Commodity Exchange hit a two-week low of 13,340 rupees per 100 kg, tracking a fall in prices in the key markets of Kerala. The contract ended at 13,350 rupees per 100 kg, down 1.7%.
Prices of natural rubber in Kerala fell after a recent surge had dented demand from domestic stockists, traders said. In Kochi and Kottayam, the widely-traded RSS-4 variety was sold at 136-137 rupees per kg, down 1 rupee from the previous day.
However, data from the Rubber Board showed that rubber was sold at 135.50 rupees per kg in Kottayam, down 0.50 rupee from the previous close. In Kochi, it was unchanged at 135.50 rupees.
The rubber-tapping season usually begins in October and continues till March. This year, however, it will end in February itself due to high temperatures, which could further deepen the supply crunch. A decline in rubber imports is also expected to weigh on the supply, traders said.
In Jan-Dec, the country imported 508,304 tn of the commodity, down from 596,577 tn a year ago, data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics showed.
Lack of fresh cues from the benchmark rubber contracts on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange also weighed on those on the domestic bourse. Prices of natural rubber on TOCOM were unavailable today as the exchange is closed on account of a public holiday. The bourse will resume trade on Tuesday.
The price of the RSS-3 variety in Thailand fell by 18 cents to $160.70 per 100 kg, data from the Rubber Board showed. In Malaysia, the price of the SMR-20 variety was down $3.30 at $134.25 per 100 kg.
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:
US$1 = 71.98 rupees
Edited by Nidhi Chugh