Rubber Tumbles to Lowest Level in Five Months on Demand Concerns

Rubber slumped for a fifth day to the lowest price in five months as a selloff in crude oil and metals on slowing global economic growth raised concern that demand is waning.

Rubber for delivery in September lost 2.9 percent to end at 245.2 yen a kilogram ($2,502 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the lowest settlement for the most-active contract since Nov. 13. Futures fell 11 percent in the five days, extending this year’s losses to 19 percent.

Copper in London fell below $7,000 for the first time in almost 18 months on weak economic data from Europe to China, the biggest consumer of metals and rubber. West Texas Intermediate crude fluctuated near the lowest level in four months. The global economy will expand 3.3 percent this year, less than the 3.5 percent forecast in January, the International Monetary Fund said April 16. The IMF cut its forecast for China’s 2013 growth to 8 percent from 8.2 percent.

“Sentiment is bearish for commodities, weighing on rubber,” Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said by phone from Singapore. Prices are also pressured by the high levels of rubber stockpiles, he said.

Global inventories are set to climb to 2.17 million tons in 2014, the highest in 13 years, as production exceeds consumption through next year, London-based industry adviser The Rubber Economist said last week. Stockpiles at Qingdao, China’s largest hub for rubber, climbed to a record 366,900 tons by April 15, according to the Qingdao International Rubber Exchange Market.

Rubber for September delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell by the daily-price limit. The contract for September delivery lost as much as 3.4 percent to 18,575 yuan ($3,005) a ton before closing at 18,725 yuan.

Thai rubber free-on-board lost 3 percent to 79.50 baht ($2.76) a kilogram, the lowest since October 2009, according to Rubber Research Institute of Thailand data compiled by Bloomberg.

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