London – Natural rubber (NR) prices have performed weakly over the recent weeks as Covid-19 pandemic impacted all global markets.
Prices plunged further across all the markets observed by ERJ over the two weeks to 20 March, with ru2009, the most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange, registering a 10% decline (see below).
Prices seem set to stay under pressure with the impact of the global pandemic on demand being compounded by the drag-down effect of a decline in crude oil prices – exacerbated by a producers’ dispute between OPEC and Russia.
Currently, the only bright spots on the horizon for suppliers are some early signs of a pick-up in Chinese industrial activity – especially automotive – and a possible supply-side reduction over the coming months.
Shanghai SHFE ru2009: Yuan 10,055/tonne (20 March) compared to Yuan 11,175/tonne (6 March)
Tokyo Tocom RSS3 back month: $154.00/kg compared to Yen168.3/kg*
Tokyo Tocom TSR20 back month: $138.5/kg compared to Yen150/kg*
Singapore SGX TSR20: $1.17/kg compared to $1.29/kg
Kuala Lumpur SMR20: $124.56/kg compared to $131.63/kg
Kuala Lumpur Latex: $101.45/kg compared to $110.04/100kg
*Japan’s Tocom was closed to mark the spring solstice on 20 March and figures reflect prices at the end of business on 19 March.