By Rahul Dhuri
MUMBAI – Prices of natural rubber rose in key markets of Kerala today, tracking gains in international prices, traders said.
* On Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the rubber contract ended higher due to firm demand from China, the largest consumer, and concerns over global supply, analysts said. Upbeat vehicle sales in China over the past two months is also seen supporting prices.
* Rubber output across Southeast Asia, which accounts for more than two-thirds of natural rubber supply, has been hit by labour shortages due to COVID-19, floods and unfavourable weather conditions in Thailand and Vietnam.
* Back home, rising demand from consuming industries-–tyre and non-tyre–further supported gains in prices, said A.M.George, owner of George Rubbers in Kerala.
* Demand for tyres will be driven by growth in the automobile sector following an uptick in rural sales, increased preference for personal transport and festival season demand, traders said.
* Following are highlights of today’s trade:
–In Kochi and Kottayam, the widely-traded RSS-4 variety was sold at 157-158 rupees per kg, up 1-2 rupees from Monday.
–The most active April contract settled at 235.5 yen (about 167.09 rupees), up 0.7 yen on the Japanese bourse. End
Edited by Nidhi Chugh