London - Spring has quickly come and gone for natural rubber (NR) suppliers, ERJ's latest snapshot of price movements in Asia clearly shows.
The recovery that took hold in March ran its course by the end of April, as evidenced by a series of retreats in the main commodity trading centres across the region.
In China, weekly closing prices on the Shanghai Future Exchange (SHFE) for 1609 - the most heavily traded NR future - closed at Yuan12,755/tonne on 29 April.
But a quick look this week shows that SHFE closing prices for the same future had fallen back to Yuan11,100/tonne as of 18 May - a drop of 13 percent.
Likewise, the Japanese TOCOM exchange showed near-month and back-month price for NR at Yen161.9/kg and Yen168.5/kg respectively on 18 May - both down by around 16 percent from late April.
Completing the gloomy picture, prices for RSS-1 and RSS-3 in Bangkok both fell back by approximately 5 percent, to $177.95/100kg and $174.75/100kg respectively. In Kuala Lumpur, prices for SMR-20 fell by around 7 percent, also between 29 April and 18 May.
As ERJ has recently reported, the short-lived price recovery was largely driven by a deal between Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia to cut rubber exports by 615kt over the six months to August, as well as an improving economic outlook in China and concern over the impact of El Niño on growers.
Rubber producers, it seems, need to take new measures to tilt the supply/demand balance their way and return NR markets to recovery mode.