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Asian Rubber Settles Higher On Tight Supply; Japan 2012 Imports Lower

5 March 2013, 17:45 SEAST

Asian rubber settled higher Tuesday after the Chinese government signaled at the opening of its annual legislative session that economic growth will likely be steady this year.

Benchmark August natural rubber futures on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange settled 1.3% higher at Y287.5 a kilogram following bargain hunting, as supply is tightening with the start of the low-production season, traders said.

However, any upside is limited due to global macroeconomic uncertainty.

International Rubber Consortium chief secretary Yium Tavarolit said external factors will be key to the rubber price outlook this week.

August Tocom rubber closed Y1.7 higher at Y289.2/kg in the night session, which is considered part of the next trading day.

Physical rubber prices were also higher due to tight supply. Trade in Thailand was slow as raw material prices were high–translating into unattractive offers for buyers, traders said.

A Singapore-based dealer said he was dealing with the low-production season by limiting the amount he sells a day.

Japan’s 2012 natural rubber imports fell 10.8% to 700,105 tons, data from the Rubber Trade Association of Japan showed.

The country’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses in February fell 12.2% from a year earlier, extending the streak of on-year declines to six months in a row, as demand has been pressured by the end of government subsidies, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Friday.

Source: IRCo

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