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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Global natural rubber price nosedives

Natural rubber (NR) prices nosedived in various global markets today on account of poor demand from countries like China and oversupply of the commodity.

Bangkok market today quoted Rs 98/kg for bench mark grade RSS-4while Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) recorded a crash ranging from 5.7 to 8% in variouscontracts.

This is for the first time in last seven years, Bangkok records a price below Rs100 mark. On last Friday, Bangkok had a price tag of Rs 100/kg. On this day,last year the price was Rs 160/kg, there.

Compared to this India is ratherbetter positioned as RSS-4 gets Rs 124/kg in top Kottayam market. According to experts this steep fall in price is due to the poor off take by China, world’s largest consumerand by the European nations.

The current economic slow down in China favours a sluggish demand while the drop in the price of synthetic rubber (SR) attracts European consumers.

There is a definite hike in the demand for synthetic rubber in the western countries world which affects the demand for NR, said an international expert. He said that the price of rubber is likely to be on a lower strata till 2018 and a slight improvement might be seen by 2018 only.

The global price is likely to be hovering around  $1.5/kg for the next three years, he added. According to him this isbecause of the shift from natural rubber to synthetic rubber as more researchis going on in SR on quality front.

This naturally affects the demand for NR, where research on quality is rather weak. Last week, Thai government has approved $931 million in soft loans for cooperatives and companies to use to buy rubber from farmers as a way of propping up prices.

But, demand is slack at the moment because of a slowing Chinese economy and lack lustre growth in the developed world. Meanwhile, there are reports that tyre companies from China purchased rubber last week following a drop in inventories.

However, this slight pick-up in demand from top consumer China was not really taken as a sign of recovery in a market burdened by oversupply and confusion surrounding the sale of 200,000 tones of Thai rubber from state stockpiles.

Inventories in the bonded warehouses in Qingdao, in China, were estimated to have fallen to 192,200 tones, according to dealers, from 362,200 tones in mid-May and around 341,000 tones in June last year.

Tokyo rubber futures, a global benchmark, have fallen morethan 30% this year due to concern about demand and economic growth in China. Bangkok market today quoted lower as price for RSS-4 gradedrops to Rs 98/kg, while Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR) quoted only Rs 91/kg.

This trend indicates the poor off take by major consuming countries, hence alow price regime can be expected infuture also, said a top Kochi based dealer.

– Business Standard

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