SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rose on Tuesday, tracking gains in the Shanghai market as the latest easing of COVID-19 curbs in top buyer China lifted demand sentiment, even as the country struggles with a recent surge in cases.
The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery was up 3.6 yen, or 1.7%, at 220.7 yen ($1.66) per kg as of 0200 GMT. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was up 175 yuan, or 1.4%, at 12,800 yuan ($1,842) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average opened 0.62% higher.
China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine starting from Jan. 8, the National Health Commission said on Monday, in a major step towards easing curbs on its borders, which have been largely shut since 2020.
Rubber demand sentiment has been mixed in recent weeks after top buyer China relaxed strict COVID-19 curbs, which was met with a fresh wave of new infections, limiting industrial activity and consumption.
Profits at China’s industrial firms contracted further in the January-November period, when strict Covid 19-related restrictions disrupted factory activity and supply chains as the virus spread through key manufacturing hubs.