Bloomberg News

Rubber Plunges to Two-Year Low on Concern Demand May Weaken

June 22, 2012

Rubber tumbled to the lowest level in more than two years on concern that a global economic slowdown will cut demand.

November-delivery rubber plunged 5.1 percent to end at 231.7 yen a kilogram ($2,883 a metric ton), the lowest settlement level since Nov. 11, 2009, on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures have lost 29 percent this quarter, the most since the global financial crisis in 2008. China’s markets were closed for a holiday.

Asian stocks fell, with raw-material producers and energy companies leading losses among the 10 industry groups in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, as manufacturing and jobs reports added to signs of a U.S. economic slowdown. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials tumbled yesterday into a bear market on concern demand for commodities will weaken.

“The debt crisis in Europe and slowing growth in China are clouding market sentiment and have raised concerns that demand for rubber may slow,” said Chaiwat Muenmee, an analyst at Bangkok-based commodity broker DS Futures Co.

Rubber also declined on concern that plans by Bridgestone Corp., the world’s biggest maker of tires, to cut output in the second half will damp demand, Chaiwat said.

Bridgestone may extend output cuts as Europe’s debt crisis and China’s slowdown curb demand, Masaaki Tsuya, chief executive officer, said in an interview in Tokyo.

September-delivery rubber in Shanghai tumbled 3.3 percent to close at 22,570 yuan ($3,546) a ton yesterday. Thai rubber on a free-on-board basis dropped 1.9 percent to 104.9 baht ($3.30) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Output has improved while overseas demand has weakened, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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