London – Hopes of a sustained recovery in natural rubber (NR) prices seem to have been snuffed out by concerns over the Chinese economy.
A downturn in buyer sentiment was evident on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) last week, with the most heavily traded rubber future RU1901 in marked decline.
The slide – to Yuan11,990/tonne as of close of trading on 18 Oct – spelled the end of a short-lived price-revival on the SHFE, which peaked at around Yuan12,700/tonne on 10 Oct.
The recent rally in prices for the commodity was widely linked to climate-related disruption to growers as well as to robust global demand.
In Japan, meanwhile, the TOCOM exchange posted back-month prices for RSS3 grade rubber at Yen169.9/kg on 17 Oct.
This represented a fall-back from a peak of Yen172.7/kg noted on 10 Oct – up 4.1% from the Yen165.9/kg recorded on 19 Sept.
The back-month price for TOCOM’s newly introduced future TSSR was shown to have declined to Yen151.6/kg on 17 Oct – a fall of 4.5% from a week earlier.
The negative sentiment has yet to fully register in pricing figures in NR growing countries – for now at least.
Average weekly prices were stable in producer countries to 28 Sept, according to figures compiled by the ANRPC.
Compared to 31 Aug, Malaysia Latex 60% was trading about level at $99.76/100kg in Kuala Lumpur while RSS3 just 2% lower at $145.32 in Bangkok at the end of September.
Over the same timeframe, prices for STR20 on the Thai exchange and SMR20 in Malaysia remained similarly stable.
There was, though, a significant easing in pricing in Kottayam, India where weekly average for RSS4 dropped 6.8%, to $177.81/100kg, by 28 Sept.