Rubber Declines for Fifth Week on Concern China Demand Slowing

Jan 17, 2014 2:38 am ET

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber in Tokyo retreated for a fifth week, the longest run since June, on concern that slowing growth in China, the biggest buyer, may weaken demand for the commodity used in tires.

The contract for delivery in June on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange lost 1.3 percent to settle at 253 yen a kilogram ($2,424 a metric ton). Futures fell 1.3 percent this week, extending losses to 7.8 percent this year.

China’s factory output and investment growth probably weakened in December, adding to signs the world’s second-largest economy is losing momentum as analysts forecast 2014 expansion at the lowest in 24 years. Rubber inventories in Qingdao, China’s main hub for the commodity, advanced 4.7 percent from the end of last month to 304,300 tons on Jan. 16, according to the Qingdao International Rubber Exchange.

“Demand may be sluggish with the Chinese economy showing signs of slowing,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at JSC Corp., a research company in Tokyo. “Rising stockpiles in China raised concerns that rubber purchasing may slow.”

Futures for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.8 percent to close at 16,630 yuan ($2,748) a ton, also retreating for a fifth week. Rubber free-on-board fell 0.6 percent to 77.25 baht ($2.35) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Sungwoo Park