London – As a curb in natural rubber exports from the three main producer countries came to an end on 31 March, prices fell sharply across key Far East markets.
Weakening demand and trade tensions between China and the US were also cited by traders as contributing factors to a wave of declines on NR markets.
On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, spot prices for RU1805 – the most heavily traded NR future – stood at Yuan11,290/tonne on 30 March, 13% down on the level noted on 28 Feb.
In Tokyo, meanwhile, TOCOM back-month prices for RSS3 materials closed at ¥180/kg on 28 March, around 7% 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 $173.55/100kg on 29 March, showing a 4.3% decrease compared to $181.35/100kg on 28 Feb.
Similarly, with a 4.4% decline, RSS3 tracked the market trend at $169.85/100kg, compared to $177.70/100kg on 28 Feb.
In Kuala Lumpur, prices for SMR20 were down 7.7% month-on-month at $138.45/100kg at the end of March.
Latex spot prices in KL, also showed an 8.1% drop at $113.75/100kg on 30 March, compared to $123.85/100kg at the end of February.
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, members of the International Tripartite Council (ITRC) cut natural rubber exports by 350,000 for the first three months of they year in an attempt to help improve NR prices.