KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian rubber market is likely to trend higher next week, in response to expectations of firmer crude oil prices, said dealers.
The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday, lifting crude oil prices to a nearly one-month high on the same day.
A dealer said with improving crude oil prices, it would make synthetic rubber more expensive, hence, pushed up the prices of natural rubber.
Besides, he said news on Thailand’s plan to set up its first international-standard vehicle and tyre-testing centre next year would also spur the demand for the commodity.
“It was reported that the US$107.6 million centre, which would go into full operation in 2019, would be used for research and development and turn the country into a regional hub for next-generation automotive products,” he told Bernama.
For the week just-ended, the market was traded mixed to lower, mainly driven by the volatility of crude oil prices and inventories at Japanese ports, and moved in tandem with the the performance of the benchmark rubber futures on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the Malaysian Rubber Board’s official physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 shed 31.5 sen to 767 sen per kg and latex-in-bulk lost 7.5 sen to 664 sen per kg.
The 5 pm unofficial closing price for SMR 20 gained three sen to 760 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk was 11 sen lower at 662.5 sen per kg.