* Goodyear buys SIR20 at 103.75 cents/lb
* RSS3 sold at $2.48-$2.50/kg for Dec
* Rumours China may be looking for more rubber to stockpile
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co , the biggest U.S. tyre maker, purchased a few Indonesian cargoes this week, dealers said on Wednesday, adding there were also rumours in the physical market that China may be looking to buy more rubber for its reserves.
Chinese state reserves bought two weeks ago 54,000 tonnes of Thai RSS rubber at 20,400 yuan-21,500 yuan ($3,300-$3,500) a tonne that had been imported by Hainan Rubber Industry Group, Sinochem International Corporation, Founder Commodities and Anhui Technology Import and Export Co Ltd.
Dealers have said more purchases were unlikely because of worries about a build-up of non-reserve inventories to their highest since 2004 after strong imports before a long holiday last month and as some speculators use the commodity as collateral for financing. (SNR-TOTAL-DW)
“We heard China may be buying 120,000 tonnes. But it’s not confirmed and there are so many versions about the quantity. It’s hard to say,” said an analyst in Tokyo.
A dealer in Singapore said the world’s largest consumer could be in the market to buy 110,000 tonnes of rubber for its national reserves. “I would say the quantity is too small. It’s not a big deal,” he added.
Dealers said buying interest from China was muted this week, but there were several deals among tyre makers and trading houses in an otherwise slow physical market.
Goodyear bought SIR20 at 103.75 U.S. cents a pound ($2.28 a kg) for January, and some cargoes were also sold to unidentified buyers at 104.00 cents in a series of overnight deals. Two weeks ago, SIR20 changed hands at 104.25 to 104.50 cents a pound.
Thai RSS3 was reported traded late on Tuesday at $2.48 to $2.50 a kg for December delivery, down from $2.50 offered two weeks ago. Another Thai grade, STR20, was reported traded at $2.36 a kg, down from $2.38-$2.42/kg
Malaysian SMR20 was sold at $2.40 a kg, down from $2.43 to $2.44 two weeks ago.
“Sentiment in the Chinese market is also weak,” said a dealer in Thailand, referring to declines in Shanghai rubber futures
Tyre grade prices could track benchmark Tokyo rubber futures next week, though the market will also be watching how the speculation about more purchases by China unfolds.
The most active April contract on Tokyo Commodity Exchange was little changed at 258.7 yen a kg, down from a 3-1/2-month high of around 290 yen in September. The Tokyo market often influences rubber futures in Shanghai. (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)