TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures settled down 1.4 percent on Tuesday due to a stronger yen and as rising inventories in China raised concerns that the world’s top consumer could cut purchases in the coming months.
The yen fell 0.5 percent to 103.42 on Tuesday against the dollar from its highest level in about a month the previous day but was stronger than around 105 on Friday.
Rubber stored in bonded warehouses in China’s Qingdao port rose 5 percent to nearly 300,000 tonnes in December, dealers said on Tuesday, raising fears the world’s top consumer could cut purchases in the coming months.
Inventories rose in Qingdao and in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange after China imported a record 350,000 tonnes of rubber last month, a surge of nearly 67 percent on an annual basis.
The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for June delivery fell 3.5 yen to settle at 252.8 yen ($2.45) per kg. The market was closed on Monday for a national holiday.
The contract fell as much as 3.9 percent to an intraday low of 246.4 yen, the lowest since Aug. 8.
“The dollar/yen fell, and TOCOM had anywhere but to go down,” said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at broker Okato Shoji, adding some other factors such as the rise in Qingdao stocks also added to the fall.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 135 yuan to finish at 16,750 yuan ($2,800) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for February delivery last traded at 218.60 U.S. cents per kg, up 1.7 cents. ($1 = 6.0434 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 103.3650 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)