By Rahul Dhuri
* However, sluggish demand from tyre makers limited the rise in prices. Demand for tyres, which accounts for 65% of total demand, is dwindling as production of automobiles has been severely hit due to the COVID-19 lockdown. With labourers testing positive for COVID-19 and auto companies being compelled to shut factories, production has been hit.
* Inventories with tyre manufacturers have piled up as stock-lifting from factories to auto manufacturers has stopped.
* Weak demand from bulk buyers led to an increase in the stockpile. As of June, stock was at 310,000 tn, compared with 240,000 tn a year ago, according to Rubber Board data.
* Sentiment remains weak as tapping in key growing areas has resumed after it was halted during Jun-Aug due to rains. With weather conditions improving and tapping picking up, production will improve and prices will fall further, said Mathew Thomas, the owner of Kallarakkal Agencies based in Kerala.
* Benchmark contracts on Tokyo Commodity Exchange are likely to rise as global production is expected to be lower in 2020. The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries cut its forecast for global output in 2020 to 13.15 mln tn, down 4.9% on year.
* Prices of rubber on TOCOM were unavailable today as the exchange is shut on account of Autumnal Equinox and will resume trade on Wednesday.
* Following are the highlights of today’s trade:
–Today, in Kochi and Kottayam, the widely-traded RSS-4 variety was quoted at 132-133 rupees per kg, up 1-2 rupees from Monday, traders said.
–On Friday, the most-active February contract on the Japanese bourse settled at 186 yen (about 130.79 rupees) per kg, up 0.7 yen from the previous close.
US$1 = 73.58 rupees