LONDON—Far East natural rubber markets continued to decline in the two weeks to Sept. 10, as the August decline in Chinese imports fueled concerns over slowing demand.
On Sept. 9, rubber futures in Osaka hit an 11-month low. In Shanghai, the most active rubber contract for January delivery, posted a 2.7 percent decline over the two-week period.
Physical markets also continued to decline as delays in imports and the resurgence of COVID-19 weakened market sentiment.
With the tapping season in full swing, prices were also under pressure with increased supply across the Far East markets.
The prices, however, are expected to see a sharp increase in the near future as the market awaits a large-scale import from the world's biggest NR consumer, China.
In its latest market intelligence update Sept. 3, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) cited media reports suggesting the NR inventory is depleting in China as manufacturers opted to source their rubber locally to avoid high shipping costs.
"The total inventory has reportedly dropped by190,000 (metric tons) between the beginning of June and end of August," the report said.
As Chinese manufacturers and traders try to replenish the inventory ahead of the offseason, physical markets in Southeast Asia can expect imminent large-scale imports from the country "either in September, or in October," ANRPC said.