* RSS3 traded at $2.56/kg, STR20 at $2.40-$2.41 FOB
* SIR20 done at 107.25-108 cents/lb; Bridgestone buys
* Qingdao rubber stocks slip below 300,000 tonnes
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Aug 21 Tyre grades from Southeast
Asia changed hands for October delivery this week, but a drop in
China's rubber inventory is yet to spur an expected wave of
buying from the world's top consumer, dealers said on Wednesday.
Tyre grade prices had plunged to multi-year lows on
concerns about global economic growth and uncertainty over
demand from China, which accounts for 35 percent of global
The Thai RSS3 grade was traded late on Tuesday at $2.56 a
kg, free on board, down from $2.58-$2.60 last week. Another Thai
grade, STR20, was sold at $2.40 to $2.41 a kg FOB, versus $2.54
including freight to China.
"Some of the STR20 cargoes have been sold to China. There
will be some buying on dips as usual, but I am not suggesting
it's going to be strong," said a dealer in Thailand, the world's
"Even though stocks in China have dropped below 300,000
tonnes, they are still substantial."
Some cargoes of Indonesia's SIR20 were sold to Bridgestone
Corp, the world's largest tyre maker, for nearby
shipments, and Malaysia's SMR20 was traded to unspecified buyers
at prices slightly higher than STR20.
Rubber stocks at Qingdao, which are closely watched and make
up the bulk of China's inventory, have fallen to 298,300 tonnes
from 313,100 at the end of July, but are still above the usual
level of 250,000 tonnes, dealers said.
A drop in Qingdao is usually seen as a bullish signal for
the market as it raises the prospect of more imports. But it
could also indicate local tyre makers are still reluctant to buy
from overseas markets despite signs the economy is improving.
"Actually, this should be bullish but the market doesn't
seem to reflect it," said a physical dealer in Singapore, who
trades Indonesian and Malaysian grades.
Physical rubber prices have tracked the fortunes of
benchmark Tokyo futures, which in turn are dictated by the
currency and equity markets. The Tokyo market shrugged off
declines in China's rubber inventory.
The most active January rubber on Tokyo Commodity Exchange
fell to its weakest in nearly two weeks at 257.9 yen a
kg on Wednesday after the Nikkei slipped on concerns the U.S.
Federal Reserve would soon start tapering its monetary stimulus.
Indonesia's SIR20 was sold to Bridgestone 107.50 U.S. cents
a pound ($2.37 a kg) for September and at 107.25 cents ($2.36 a
kg) for October shipment, FOB. There were also deals to other
buyers at 107.25 and 108.00 cents a pound overnight.
"China is also buying SIR20 via dealers in Singapore. But
these days, you can't really feel their presence. Also, the
Tokyo market is extremely volatile," said a dealer in
second-largest producer Indonesia.
SIR20 was traded at 110 to 110.25 cents a pound last week.
Malaysia's SMR20 changed hands at $2.43 a kg FOB, versus
$2.50, including freight to China last week.
Tyre grade prices are likely to hold at the current levels
next week, given the volatile Tokyo market.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)