Rubber Falls for 7th Week on Concern Over Chinese Demand

Rubber futures in Tokyo dropped for a seventh week, the longest losing streak since 2008, on concern that demand is waning in China, the biggest buyer of the commodity used to make tires.

The contract for delivery in July dropped 0.3 percent to end at 227.3 yen a kilogram ($2,217 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange after earlier rising as much as 1.7 percent. Futures entered a bear market and fell 5.9 percent this week, extending losses for January to 17 percent this month.

A manufacturing gauge to be released tomorrow by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing may fall to a six-month low, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed for ninth straight week to highest level since 2004, bourse data shows.

“Some investors closed their positions ahead of long Chinese holidays, amid concern over economic slowdown,” said Gu Jiong, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co., a brokerage in Tokyo. Large stockpiles in China and Japan added to the downward pressure, he said.

The Chinese market is closed through Feb. 6 for Lunar New Year holidays. The contract for May delivery on the Shanghai bourse fell 1 percent to close at 15,480 yuan ($2,554) yesterday.

Rubber free-on-board at Songkhla, Thailand, fell 1.4 percent to 71.25 baht ($2.16) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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