Rubber Retreats From 10-Month High as Chinese Demand May Slow

Rubber futures in Tokyo retreated from a 10-month high on concerns that demand in China, the world’s largest consumer, will slow during holidays next week.

The contract for delivery in July dropped 0.3 percent to end at 333 yen a kilogram ($3,561 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange after falling as much as 1.2 percent. Futures climbed to 334 yen yesterday, the highest settlement since March 28. The most-active contract has gained 10 percent this year.

China’s markets are closed next week for the Lunar New Year holiday. Imports by members of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries, representing 57 percent of global demand, may drop 16 percent in February, the group said in a monthly report. Key members include China, India and Malaysia.

“Rubber in Shanghai came under pressure as investors are eager to lock in profits before the holiday,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo. “The drop in Shanghai put a drag on futures in Tokyo.”

Futures also declined as Japan’s currency rebounded from an almost three-year low against the dollar, reducing the appeal of yen-denominated contracts, he said. The yen rose to 93.53 per dollar after dropping to 94.06, the lowest level since May 2010.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, rubber for delivery in May lost 0.7 percent to close at 26,475 yuan ($4,247) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board dropped 0.8 percent to 98.65 baht ($3.31) a kilogram today, according to the country’s Rubber Research Institute.

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