* SIR20 sold at 75 U.S. cents/lb in thin trade
* SMR20 traded, but quantity small
* SICOM near lowest level in three months, TOCOM down
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Aug 15 Small quantities of tyre
grades changed hands in Southeast Asia this week, dealers said
on Friday, but overall trading was muted as consumers waited for
more declines in prices and top buyer China stayed on the
The TSR20 contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange,
which covers Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian grades, held near
its weakest in three months after benchmark Tokyo futures
slipped on weaker oil and concerns over China's economic
Indonesia's SIR20 was sold to U.S. buyers and tyre maker
Bridgestone Corp at 75 U.S. cents a pound ($1.65 a kg)
for September delivery in a series of overnight deals, according
to dealers. The grade was sold at 77.00 to 77.25 cents last
"China's asking prices are very low, that's why it's so
quiet," said a dealer in Singapore. "Their stocks have fallen,
but still, there's no demand from China."
Rubber stocks in China's bonded warehouses in Qingdao have
dropped to their lowest since October last year at 262,100
tonnes, suggesting that a probe into a suspected financing scam
at the port has curbed demand.
Qingdao port has been at the centre of a major investigation
into alleged commodity financing fraud, which has prompted
global banks and trading houses to fire off a series of lawsuits
over their estimated $900 million exposure.
Metals such as copper and zinc have been widely used for
financing, a practice in which a commodity is pledged as
collateral for a bank loan. Other commodities such as iron ore,
soybeans and rubber have also been pulled into the trade,
driving up stockpiles.
In other grades, a small quantity of Malaysian SMR20 was
traded at $1.74 a kg late on Thursday, down from $1.78 a kg last
week. There were no reports of overnight deals for Thai grades.
The Thai military government plans to shore up falling
rubber prices by increasing domestic consumption instead of
intervening in the market via a costly buying scheme.
Thailand, the world's biggest rubber producer and exporter,
is forecast to produce 4.0 million tonnes of rubber this year,
up from 3.8 million tonnes in 2013.
(Editing by Richard Pullin)