Bloomberg News

Rubber Climbs to 5-Month High on Declining Supply, Greek Bailout

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber extended gains for a fourth day and reached the highest level in five months amid declining supply in Thailand and after Europe agreed on a second bailout for Greece.

The July-delivery contract advanced 2.8 percent to settle at 337.6 yen a kilogram ($4,220 a metric ton), the highest settlement level since Sept. 22, on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures have gained 28 percent this year. May-delivery rubber on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.7 percent to close at 29,100 yuan ($4,622) a ton.

Concerns eased that the European debt crisis may derail a global recovery and weaken raw material demand as seven months of negotiations ended in the pre-dawn hours in Brussels with Greece winning 130 billion euros ($172 billion) in aid it needs to avoid a March bankruptcy. Many plantation areas in Thailand, the world’s largest exporter, have entered low-production season when latex tapping declines, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

“Declining supplies in Thailand coupled with easing concerns over the European debt crisis helped boost prices,” said Chaiwat Muenmee, an analyst at Bangkok-based commodity broker DS Futures Co.

Higher oil prices were also supportive as crude rallied to a nine-month high after Iran said it stopped selling to France and Britain, boosting the appeal of natural rubber as an alternative to synthetic products. Oil for April delivery climbed to $106.41 a barrel, the highest level since May 5, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Thai cash price gained 0.4 percent to 126.35 baht ($4.13) a kilogram today, the rubber institute said.

--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Richard Dobson

To contact the reporters on this story: Aya Takada in Tokyo at atakada2@bloomberg.net; Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Dobson at rdobson4@bloomberg.net


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