LONDON — Natural rubber (NR) prices have fallen sharply across key Far East markets the past week, as the three main producer nations ended a three-month curb on NR exports on March 31.
Weakening demand and trade tensions between China and the U.S. also were cited by traders as contributing factors to a wave of declines on NR markets.
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, members of the International Tripartite Council (ITRC) cut natural rubber exports by 350,000 metric tons for the first three months of the year in an attempt to help improve NR prices.
On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, spot prices for RU1805 — the most heavily traded NR future — stood at Yuan11,290 per metric ton on March 30, down 13 percent from the level noted on Feb. 28.
In Tokyo, TOCOM back-month prices for RSS3 materials closed at ¥180 per kilogram on March 28, around 7 percent lower than the end-of-February level.
Thailand, which had seen positive trends in recent months — due to the exports cuts and wintering season — also saw sharp drops amid the increasing supply prospects.
Spot prices for RSS1 grades in Bangkok stood at $173.55 per 100 kilos on March 29 March, a 4.3-percent drop from Feb. 28.
The impact of NR prices on the global tire market will be among the issues discussed and debated at Future Tire Conference 2018, taking place May 30-31 during the Tire Cologne international trade fair in Cologne, Germany. Click here for more information.