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Rubber Drops to Five-Month Low on China Demand Concerns

Rubber in Tokyo extended losses for a fourth day to a five-month low as concerns grew that abundant supply in China will slow purchases from the largest consumer.

The contract for delivery in June on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange dropped 0.6 percent to end at 248.1 yen a kilogram ($2,376 a metric ton), the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since Aug. 7. Futures lost 9.6 percent this month.

Growth in China, the second-largest economy, will decelerate to 7.5 percent this year and 7.3 percent in 2015 from 7.7 percent in 2013, the International Monetary Fund forecasts. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange increased 5.6 percent to 200,815 tons, the largest since October 2004, data from the bourse showed on Jan. 17. It was the seventh straight week of gains.

“The outlook for an economic slowdown in China may spur buyers to reduce rubber purchases as stockpiles in the nation are already large,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at JSC Corp., a research company in Tokyo.

Rubber for May delivery on the Shanghai exchange gained 1 percent to close at 16,590 yuan ($2,742) a ton. Rubber free-on-board dropped 0.7 percent to 76.75 baht ($2.33) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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