Rubber Declines to Five-Month Low as Growth Concerns Increase

Rubber plunged to a five-month low as concerns grew that the global recovery may stall, sapping investor appetite for the commodity used in tires.

The contract for delivery in September lost as much as 4.6 percent to 247 yen a kilogram ($2,526 a metric ton), the lowest level since Nov. 15, before settling at 257.5 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures have declined 15 percent this year.

Asian stocks extended global selloffs while oil in New York fell to a four-month low, cutting the appeal of natural rubber as an alternative to synthetic products. Concerns grew that a slowdown in economic growth of China will weaken demand from the world’s biggest consumer of commodities, said Takaki Shigemoto, analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo.

“A rapid expansion in China’s economy is over, leading to slower growth in raw-material demand,” he said today by phone.

Rubber stockpiles at Qingdao, China’s largest hub for the commodity, rose to a record 366,900 tons by April 15, the Qingdao International Rubber Exchange Market said yesterday.

China’s 7.7 percent increase in first-quarter gross domestic product from a year earlier marked the first time in data going back two decades that four periods in a row have seen growth of less than 8 percent.

In Shanghai, the contract for September delivery lost 2.2 percent to close at 19,915 yuan ($3,221) a ton.

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