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Thailand delays sale of remaining rubber stocks to end-2014 – official

BANGKOK, Sept 24 – The Thai government has postponed the sale of its remaining 100,000 tonnes of rubber stocks to avoid further depressing prices, a senior Agriculture Ministry official said on Wednesday.

“We don’t want to add pressure on prices so we decided to postpone the sale until the end of this year,” the Agriculture Ministry’s permanent secretary Chavalit Chookajorn told Reuters.

The Thai military government sold half of the country’s 200,000 tonnes rubber stockpile early this month and had aimed to sell the rest by the end of September.

However, some Thai rubber farmers have been sceptical about the initial sale and have called for an investigation, saying the terms of payment and the delivery were unclear.

Tokyo rubber futures prices, which set the global trend, have fallen more than 30 percent so far this year and hit a fresh 5-year low of 180.7 yen on Wednesday due largely to weak demand in China, the world’s biggest rubber consumer.

Physical rubber also fell, with the benchmark Thai smoked rubber sheet (RSS3) being offered at $1.58 per kg.

That was far below the record $6.40 per kg in 2011 when demand from China was strong.

Source: Reuters

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