Rubber declined for a fifth day and traded near a two-month low as stockpiles increased in China, the largest consumer, and a survey showed the country’s manufacturing may expand this month at a slower rate.
The contract for July delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange fell as much as 0.8 percent to 294.6 yen a kilogram ($3,132 a metric ton), approaching the two-month low of 292.7 reached Feb. 21, and was at 295.9 yen at 10:52 a.m. Futures have declined 2.2 percent this year.
The preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.4 in February, according to a statement from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics today. That compares with the 52.3 final reading for January and the 52.2 median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. A number above 50 indicates expansion. Inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 2,401 tons to 102,416 tons, the bourse said Feb. 22. It was the highest level since March 2010.
“The data strengthened concerns that China’s demand is not strong enough to absorb ample supply from Southeast Asian producers,” Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo, said today by phone.
The contract for September delivery on the SHFE lost 1.3 percent to 24,720 yuan ($3,965) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board declined 0.5 percent to 91.20 baht ($3.05) a kilogram on Feb. 22, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
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