Rubber Posts Biggest Weekly Loss in 9 Months on Demand Concerns

Rubber tumbled the most this week in nine months amid concern demand may slow as China, the biggest user, called for property curbs and as European data signaled the region’s recession is worsening.

The contract for July delivery dropped 0.1 percent to end at 297.1 yen a kilogram ($3,184 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the lowest settlement price for the most-active contract since Dec. 26. Futures fell 7.6 percent this week, the most since the week ended May 11.

Asian stocks plunged yesterday amid concern the Federal Reserve may scale back stimulus and as China’s government told local authorities to curb real estate speculation. Italy’s parliamentary election starts this weekend after data yesterday showed the euro-area’s economy contracted more than forecast.

“Funds continue selling rubber on concerns about the slow economic recovery and weak demand,” Gu Jiong, an analyst at commodity broker Yutaka Shoji Co., said by phone from Tokyo.

Thailand, the largest exporter, will review a program to support prices by purchasing from farmers at the end of March, Deputy Farm Minister Yuttapong Charasathien said Feb. 19. That may signal an increase in supplies.

The contract for September delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.2 percent to close at 25,035 yuan ($4,013) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board declined for a fourth day, dropping 0.5 percent to 91.20 baht ($3.06) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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