WASHINGTON (May 24, 2010)—Natural rubber prices have rebounded to near-record levels after slipping earlier in the month, according to reports from Southeast Asia.
Industry consensus was that volatility in petroleum and other commodities markets, caused by uncertainty over the euro's future, caused NR prices to follow suit. Some news reports also cited the political unrest in Thailand, the world's largest NR producer, but an industry source who asked for anonymity downplayed that angle.
“The riots are in Bangkok, which is not where rubber passes through, and which is not in a growing region,” the source said. “Prices rose after 10 days because they should never have gone down in the first place. The higher prices are recognition that what we have to focus on is the fundamentals of the rubber.”
The price of Standard Indonesian Rubber 20—the grade most often used by U.S. tire makers—stood at $1.42 per pound May 24, up from $1.33 May 17.