TOCOM hits near 4-year high amid supply worries

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TOKYO (Jan 16): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures hit their highest in nearly four years on Monday as continued rains in Thailand renewed worries about supply shortage.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, touched 307.3 yen (US$2.70), their highest since Feb 21, 2013, also buoyed by bullish Shanghai and Singapore futures.

"Despite the dry period, the rain continued near a rubber factory area in Thailand," said a Tokyo-based dealer.

Global natural rubber output is likely to fall in the first quarter of 2017 as floods have disrupted tapping in top producer Thailand, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) said on Friday.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for June delivery finished 11.5 yen higher at 305 yen per kg.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 1,135 yuan, or 5.6%, to finish at 21,515 yuan (US$3,121) per tonne after hitting 21,730 yuan earlier, the highest since Jan 3, 2014.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for February delivery last traded at 225.9 US cents per kg, up 17.2 US cents.

(US$1 = 6.8946 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 113.8200 yen)