* SIR20 sold to Bridgestone, prices off lows
* Thai, Malaysian grades also sold; TOCOM lifts prices
* Producing countries recommended to limit sales
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Feb 12 Main rubber consumer China and
tyre makers purchased several cargoes for nearby shipment this
week after prices sank to multi-year lows, with producer nation
calls for dealers to limit sales falling on deaf ears, traders
said on Wednesday.
Tyre grades from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia changed
hands in a series of overnight deals at $1.92 to $2.15 a kg,
higher than $1.87 to $2.00 a kg last week. Top tyre maker
Bridgestone Corp was among buyers looking for bargains.
The International Rubber Consortium (IRCo), which
represents Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, on Monday
recommended that its members should not sell natural rubber at
current low prices.
The Indonesian Rubber Association (GAPKINDO) followed suit,
encouraging members to not to rush into selling. Indonesia's
SIR20 was traded at its lowest in five years last week on
weakness in Tokyo futures and concerns over economic growth in
"I think it's very naive. It's impractical to ask people to
limit sales," said a senior dealer in Singapore. "It's not
Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia last acted jointly in
2012-2013, agreeing to cut exports by 300,000 tonnes, or 3
percent of 2012 global output. The move only briefly supported
prices and the agreement was later discontinued.
"I think it will be difficult to regulate sales. When you've
got plenty of rubber from suppliers, then of course, you'd want
to sell as much rubber as you could," said a dealer on
Indonesia's main growing island of Sumatra.
March/April SIR20 was traded to Bridgestone and dealers in
Singapore at 87.00 to 87.75 U.S. cents a pound ($1.91 to $1.93 a
kg), higher than 85.00 to 85.50 U.S. cents last week because of
gains in rubber contracts on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange.
The most active July rubber contract on TOCOM has
rebounded from 18-month lows struck last week on rallies in
Japanese equities, but gains are likely to be capped by high
inventory in China.
Chinese rubber imports climbed nearly a quarter in January
from the year before, customs data showed, even as inventories
continued to swell, suggesting that speculators are still using
the commodity as collateral for financing.
Thai RSS3 changed hands at $2.13 to $2.15 a kg, steady from
last week's offer price of $2.15. Another Thai grade, STR20, was
traded to China at $2 a kg, traders said.
Malaysia's SMR20 was sold to Singapore dealers at $2.01 to
$2.025 a kg, higher than $1.97 to $2.00 last week.
Tyre grades could up next week if Tokyo rubber futures
extend gains and supply tightens during the current dry
wintering season in the three main producing countries.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)