Rubber traded near a one-week high after Japan’s currency slid to the lowest level in two months against the dollar, raising the appeal of yen-based futures.
The contract for April delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange advanced as much as 1 percent to 261.2 yen a kilogram ($2,623 a metric ton) and traded at 258.8 yen at 11:03 a.m. Futures settled at 258.6 on Nov. 11, the highest level since Nov. 1.
The yen was at 99.53 per dollar after declining to 99.80 yesterday, the lowest level since Sept. 13. Fed Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said yesterday a reduction in U.S. bond purchases “could very well take place” next month.
“Expectations for U.S. tapering of monetary stimulus are weakening the yen and giving support to futures in Tokyo,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp.
Gains were limited after a group of major producers forecast an increase in output, he said. Natural-rubber production may rise 3.6 percent to 11 million tons this year from 2012, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries said in a report yesterday.
Output in Thailand, the world’s largest grower, may gain 2.3 percent to 3.866 million tons, while production in Indonesia, the second biggest, may expand 4.6 percent to 3.18 million tons, the report said.
Rubber for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 19,245 yuan($3,159) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board lost 0.3 percent to 78.80 baht ($2.49) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.