TOKYO (March 24): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell on Friday to the lowest since mid-December and lost nearly 8% for the week, as softer Shanghai futures led the way and as investors adjusted positions ahead of an expiration of nearest contract on Monday.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for August delivery finished 2.6 yen, or 1%, lower at 247.4 yen (US$2.22) per kg, after hitting the weakest since Dec 12 of 245.5 yen earlier in the session.
For the week, it booked a 7.7% loss.
"Tokyo was dragged down by a selloff in Shanghai," said Toshitaka Tazawa, analyst at Fujitomi Co.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery slid 210 yuan to finish at 16,865 yuan (US$2,447) per tonne.
Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange were unchanged, the exchange said on Friday.
The TOCOM's March contract is due to expire on Monday.
"With concerns over more supply coming from Thailand's stockpiles, rubber market may stay bearish next week," Tazawa said, adding that the TOCOM benchmark may be headed toward 220 yen.
Thailand said on Thursday it has sold 13,000 tonnes rubber from stockpiles via a state auction held on March 21 and 22. It also said it aims to offload remaining 107,000 tonnes of rubber stockpiles by the end of May.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for April delivery last traded at 188.1 US cents per kg, down 5.3 US cent.
(US$1 = 111.3200 yen)
(US$1 = 6.8922 Chinese yuan)