Rubber climbed as European car sales expanded for the first time in 19 months, easing concern that ailing economies in the region will curb demand for the commodity used in tires.
Rubber for delivery in October gained 2 percent to settle at 287.8 yen a kilogram ($2,807 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.8 percent. The rally pared this week’s losses for the most-active contract to 2 percent.
Car registrations in April increased 1.8 percent to 1.08 million vehicles from 1.06 million cars a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said today in a statement. Four-month sales fell 7 percent to 4.18 million vehicles.
“Expanding auto sales will support demand for rubber,” said Takaki Shigemoto, analyst at research company JSC Corp.
Car sales in Europe last month rose the most at Daimler AG, with an 11 percent jump propelled by a 13 percent increase at the Mercedes-Benz luxury brand.
Thai rubber free-on-board dropped 0.2 percent to 88.85 baht ($2.98) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. The nation, the biggest producer and exporter, is targeting a price of 110 baht a kilogram for this year and 2014, according to Thai Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives agency.
Rubber for delivery in September on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 3.1 percent to 20,595 yuan ($3,353) a ton.