TOKYO, July 6 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended down 3.4 percent on Wednesday, following steep declines in Shanghai futures amid worries over rubber demand by the world’s top consumer. Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, fell as much as 6 percent after Shanghai futures tumbled in overnight trading.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for December delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 5.5 yen lower at 154.3 yen ($1.53) per kg, after touching a low of 150.2 yen, the weakest since June 27. A stronger yen against the dollar also hurt TOCOM and pushed Japanese stocks lower.
“TOCOM followed overnight plunge in Shanghai futures,” said a source with a Tokyo-based dealer. “The decline in Chinese yuan also is seen pushing up China’s rubber import prices, which raised worries over rubber product margins and slack rubber demand.” Chinese stocks struggled on Wednesday as the yuan fell to fresh 5-1/2 year lows and investors fled riskier assets on worries over the fallout from Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union. The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery SNRcv1 fell 715 yuan to finish at 11,170 yuan ($1,670) per tonne and also hit a one-week low.
India’s natural rubber imports in May dropped 4.1 percent from a year ago to 35,445 tonnes as production rose, the state-run Rubber Board said in a statement on Tuesday.
Singapore’s SICOM exchange was closed on Wednesday due to a holiday for Eid-al-Fitr.
($1 = 6.6885 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 101.1000 yen)
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)