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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rubber Reaches 5-Month Low as China Manufacturing Index Declines

Rubber extended losses for a fifth day to the lowest in five months after China’s manufacturing index (EC11FLAS) fell below analyst estimates, deepening concern that demand from the largest user may weaken.

The contract for delivery in June on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange retreated as much as 1.3 percent to 245 yen a kilogram ($2,342 a metric ton), the lowest intraday level since Aug. 8. Futures traded at 245.9 yen at 11:25 a.m., dropping 10 percent this year.

The preliminary reading of 49.6 for a Purchasing Managers’ Business Index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a final figure of 50.5 in December and a 50.3 median estimate of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. A number above 50 indicates expansion.

‘Speculation grew that rubber demand from China may lose strength, as data showed an economic slowdown,’’ said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at Evolution Japan Co., a broker in Tokyo.

Today’s report came after data earlier this week showed gains in factory output eased last month, sapping momentum as a credit clampdown adds pressure on the outlook. China’s growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 7.8 percent in the July-September period, according to Jan. 20 figures from the statistics bureau.

Futures in Tokyo earlier advanced 1.2 percent amid concerns anti-government protests in Thailandmay curb supply from the world’s largest exporter. Thai output may drop 10 percent to 20 percent this month and in February from an average of 300,000 tons to 350,000 tons a month, according to Bundit Kerdvongbundit, vice president of Von Bundit Co., Thailand’s second-largest producer.

Rubber for May delivery on the Shanghai exchange lost 0.8 percent to 16,455 yuan ($2,719) a ton. Rubber free-on-board dropped 0.7 percent to 76.75 baht ($2.33) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

Source: Bloomberg

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