This was 8.8-percent higher than the early-month level of Yuan10,515/tonne level – as recorded for the trading week to 3 June.
In Bangkok, meanwhile, market prices for RSS1 and RSS3 rose respectively by 14.9 percent and 15.2 percent to $178.85/100kg and $152.45/100kg over these same dates.
However, a much more modest increase was noted in the price of SMR20 in Kuala Lumpur, which was up just 1 percent during June to $129.55/100kg on 1 July.
The picture in Tokyo was mixed, with – between 8-29 June – back month prices for NR down 2.1 percent at Yen153.0/kg, but near month prices up nearly 10 percent at Yen165.5/kg.
Overall, however, markets were still well short of the year-to-date peaks reached in April, suggesting that the producer-country drive to rebalance the market was losing steam.
As ERJ previously reported, recovery was being largely driven by a deal between Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia to cut rubber exports by 615 kilotonnes over the six months to August.
The general line from supplier bodies such as IRCo (the International Rubber Consortium) and the ANRPC (Association of Natural Rubber Producer Countries) is that prices will then start to recover significantly within the next couple of years.
However, this view is not shared by all. Rubber prices remain in a period of long-term decline, according to a senior tire industry figure, speaking at ERJ’s Future Tire Conference 2016.
“As you all know, raw material prices have gone down and I think this trend will continue,” Jacob Peled, chairman of Pelmar Engineering, said at the event held 24-25 May in Essen, Germany.
“My opinion is not very popular, but I think you all have to prepare for fact that both synthetic rubber and natural rubber prices will continue to go down, he said. “It will go down quite sharply.”
Analyst Dr Prachaya Jumpasut of The Rubber Economist, believes that the price volatility so far in 2016 was caused by temporary factors against the background of weak fundamentals.
Looking ahead, he said: “The fundamentals still look grim for NR prices to be on a steady increasing trend in the short-term.”
That said, Jumpasut noted that there had been “some improvement” in the early part of 2016 and we expect the consumption to increase by 2.4 percent to reach 27.36 million tonnes by the end of this year. This more optimistic outlook will also apply to 2017.”
Indeed, he added, that the growth for the three-year forecasting period from 2016-2018 had now been revised upward to 3.4 percent as compared to 2.1 percent given in his last report. And, global rubber offtake is expected to reach 29.57 million tonnes by 2018.
Despite these upward revisions, growth rates for this year and the next two years are still on the low side when compared to the historical figures. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 caused a very sharp drop in consumption by -15.3 percent in 2009 and in contrast, an even sharper pick up of 20.5 percent in 2010, noted Jumpasut.
An important factor in NR price trends is the stocks-to-consumption ratio. According to The Rubber Economist, this may not increase as sharply as earlier thought. Moreover, it said, stocks remain relatively high, given that the major consumers are either themselves a producer or near the proximity of the producing countries.