By Rahul Dhuri
MUMBAI – Futures contracts of rubber on the Indian Commodity Exchange settled lower due to selling by market participants after prices hit a seven-month high of 13,342 rupees per 100 kg in early trade today, traders said.
On ICEX, the most active April contract settled at 13,167 rupees per 100 kg, down 0.4% from Monday’s close. A 224-tn rise in open interest at 1,255 tn indicated selling by market participants.
Rubber contracts on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange traded higher today, tracking benchmark contracts on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, analysts said.
Prices also rose on expectation of the US and China agreeing to a trade deal that will lead to a pickup in demand from China, the top consumer, the analysts said. The most active August rubber contract on the Japanese bourse settled up 0.5% at 195.2 yen (120.95 rupees) per kg.
However, a strong yen against the US dollar capped gains. A strong Japanese currency makes the yen-denominated commodity costlier for overseas buyers.
In Thailand, RSS-3 grade rubber was up by $1.16 at $177.70 per 100 kg. In Malaysia, the SMR-20 grade variety was up by 20 cents at $148.55 per 100 kg, according to data from India’s Rubber Board.
Back home, natural rubber prices rose in Kerala’s key spot markets due to improved demand from domestic stockists amid an ongoing supply crunch in the market, traders said.
“Currently, there is a supply crunch in the market as tapping has ended in Kerala. Meanwhile, domestic demand for rubber has also increased. However, expectations of a rise in rubber imports is seen capping sharp gains in prices,” said Mathew Thomas, owner of the Kochi-based Kallarakkal Agencies.
Today, in Kottayam and Kochi, the RSS-4 variety was sold in a range of 128-129 rupees per kg, up 1 rupee from Monday, traders said. Data from Rubber Board showed that both in Kochi and Kottayam, the RSS-4 variety was quoted at 129.00 rupee per kg, up 0.50 rupees in both the markets.
The following table shows today’s closing prices of rubber, in rupees per kg, as detailed by the Rubber Board, and the change in prices, in rupees, compared with the previous close:
Rubber contracts ICEX are likely to remain range-bound over the week because expectations of a rise in rubber imports are seen capping sharp gains, following improved demand from domestic stockists, market participants said. End
US$1 = 68.97 rupees
Edited by Aditya Sakorkar