Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell 1.8 percent on Monday to a near three-week low as a stronger yen and a tumble in Japan’s Nikkei share average added to concerns about slowing demand and rising supplies in China. The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for October delivery fell 4.9 yen to settle at 265.9 yen ($2.62) per kg, marking a third-straight day of decline during which it has lost more than 8 percent.
The contract fell to 264.1 yen, or 2.5 percent, the lowest since 255.3 hit on May 7. Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 4.4 percent from a week earlier, the exchange said on Friday.
Overseas investors were mostly seen on the sidelines as the US and British markets are closed on Monday due to public holidays, dealers said. Last week’s news that Thailand, the world’s biggest rubber producer and exporter, will not extend restrictions on exporting the commodity when the measure expires on May 31 also added to bearish sentiment, they added.
“The market came under a powerful punch of weak stock market and higher yen,” said a Tokyo-based broker. “There is still no signs of a rebound in prices, and in the worst case prices could fall to around 250 yen.” China’s industrial profits growth quickened in April from the previous month, though the government noted that the pickup was due mainly to a low comparative base, indicating that the world’s second-largest economy still faces slack domestic and external demand.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 330 yuan to finish at 19,220 yuan ($3,100) per tonne. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for June delivery last traded at 242 US cents per kg, down 4.5 cents.