Natural rubber markets finish 2017 with a whimper

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prices remained weak in the final month of 2017, despite some signs of recovery just prior to the new year.

On the , prices for RU1805—the most heavily traded NR future—stood at $2,174 per metric ton on Dec. 29.

This was lower $2,338 per ton recorded at the beginning of the last month.

On , back-month prices for materials eased back to $31.86 per kilogram on Dec. 29, having spiked to $32.64 two days earlier.

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Overall, though, RSS3 prices registered a month-on-month improvement on the Tokyo exchange—up from $30.75 per kilogram on Nov. 30.

In Bangkok, spot prices for RSS1 grades on Dec. 14 stood at $163.25 per 100 kilograms, up 17 percent compared to $160.40 per 100 kilograms on Nov. 30.

Prices only were available up to Dec. 14 for the Thai exchange, with RSS3 closing at $159.70 100 kilograms, up 18 percent from $156.85 at the end of November.

In , prices for SMR-20 were up 6 percent at $145.25 per 100 kilograms on Dec. 29, compared to end of November, although they dropped from a high of $147.30 per 100 kilograms on Dec. 27.

Latex performed less well in Kuala Lumpur, closing 2.7 percent down at $115.60 per 100 kilograms on Dec. 29, compared to $118.90 per100 kilograms on Nov. 30.

NR prices are expected to strengthen with a recent measure by , and to cut exports by 350,000 tons between Dec. 22 and March 31.

In addition, the beginning of the wintering season and the subsequent lower production also could help to push up prices.

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