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Rubber Near 3-Month High as Thai Protests May Hurt Supply

Rubber traded near the highest level in more than three months amid speculation protests by Thai farmers may disrupt shipments from the world’s largest producer and exporter.

Rubber for delivery in February on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange swung between gains and losses, rising as much as 1.3 percent and declining as much as 1.2 percent before trading at 283.2 yen a kilogram ($2,844 a metric ton) at 10:21 a.m. local time.

Rubber farmers have held protests in Thailand’s south to pressure the government to subsidize prices. Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday the government will not consider paying farmers guaranteed price for rubber for now.

“Protests by Thai farmers raised concerns shipments from the country will be disrupted,” said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker ACE Koeki Co. in Tokyo.

The Thai cabinet approved proposals from the rubber policy committee to help subsidize production costs for small rubber growers, according to the minister.

Thai rubber free-on-board rose 1.2 percent to 85.90 baht ($2.67) a kilogram yesterday, said the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. The contract for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.8 percent to 20,835 yuan ($3,403) a ton.

Source: Bloomberg

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