Rubber Climbs to Four-Month High as Top Shippers Reduce Cargoes

Rubber jumped to a four-month high, erasing this year’s losses, after the world’s largest producers began cutting exports by the most since 2009, reducing supplies.

March-delivery rubber rose 3.8 percent to end at 270.4 yen a kilogram ($3,464 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest settlement for the most active contract since May 30. Futures have gained 2.7 percent this year.

Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, representing 70 percent of global output, agreed to cut shipments by 300,000 tons, starting yesterday. That’s as much as China, the biggest user, imports in about five weeks and exceeds the 2013 surplus forecast by the International Rubber Study Group. Futures in Tokyo will advance to 300 yen by the year-end, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Futures were boosted by concerns about supply restrictions,” Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker ACE Koeki Co. in Tokyo, said today by phone.

Producers are cutting sales to boost prices that tumbled 50 percent since reaching a record in February 2011 because of a glut and weaker economic growth. When they reduced cargoes in 2009, futures more than doubled that year. The latest curbs come as policy makers from the Federal Reserve to the European Central Bank pledge to buy more debt to bolster their economies.

Limited Supply

“Coordinated actions from three countries have shown signs that supply will be limited,” Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said by phone from Singapore. The bullish trend will probably continue when Chinese markets reopen, he added. The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed this week for the National Day holiday.

Impressive U.S. manufacturing data was supportive, Ker said. U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly expanded last month after contracting in August, a report yesterday showed, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke pledged to maintain record economic stimulus.

Thai rubber free-on-board gained 1.2 percent to 101.40 baht ($3.30) a kilogram today, the highest level since July, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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