London – Natural rubber (NR) prices remained weak in the final month of 2017, despite some signs of recovery just prior to the new year.
NR markets finish 2017 with a whimper
On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, prices for RU1805 – the most heavily traded NR future – stood at Yuan14,105/tonne on 29 Dec.
This was significantly lower the Yuan14,525/tonne recorded at the beginning of the last month.
On TOCOM, back-month prices for RSS3 materials eased back to ¥206.7/kg on 29 Dec, having spiked to ¥211.8 two days earlier.
Overall, though, RSS3 prices registered a month-on-month improvement on the Tokyo exchange – up from ¥199.5/kg on 30 Nov.
In Bangkok, spot prices for RSS1 grades on 14 Dec stood at at $163.25/100kg, 17% up compared to 160.40/100kg on 30 Nov
Prices were only available up to 14 Dec for the Thai futures exchange, with RSS3 closing at 159.70/100kg, 18% up from $156.85 at the end of Nov.
In Kuala Lumpur, prices for SMR-20 were up 6% at $145.25/100kg on 29 Dec, compared to end of November, although they dropped from a high of $147.30/100kg on 27 Dec.
Latex performed less well in KL, closing 2.7% down at 115.60/kg on 29 Dec, compared to $118.90/100kg on 30 Nov.
NR prices are, however, expected to strengthen with a recent measure by Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to cut exports by 350,000 tonnes between 22 Dec and 31 March.
In addition, the beginning of wintering season and the subsequent lower production levels could also help to push up prices.