TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures fell on Wednesday to their lowest since early March, weighed down by concerns over slowing demand in top consumer China amid COVID-related lockdowns.
The Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for December delivery closed 2.6 yen, or 1.1%, lower at 239.5 yen ($1.73) per kg, after reaching its lowest in more than four months earlier in the session.
Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday its global production for August would be about 18% lower than its earlier plan as the automaker struggles to shake off impacts of chips shortage and COVID-19 outbreaks.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery closed 50 yuan lower at 11,890 yuan ($1,760.70) per tonne.
Mainland China’s National Health Commission reported 1,012 new coronavirus cases for July 19, of which 150 were symptomatic and 862 were asymptomatic, compared to the 776 new cases a day earlier.
A revolt by Chinese homebuyers, who have threatened to stop paying mortgages on hundreds of unfinished housing projects, is spurring a shakeout among cash-starved property developers who have long relied on pre-sales of apartments.
“China is still showing signs of partial lockdown but things are improving compared to two months ago,” said a Singapore-based trader.
“The negative property news on mortgage payment is affecting sentiment. But we could see risk appetite returning to the market after the sharp plunge last week.”
Asian shares extended a global rally as strong US corporate earnings and the expected resumption of Russian gas supply to Europe helped lift risk-on sentiment and ease fears of a recession, while the dollar was mired at two-week lows.