* TOCOM rubber faces resistance at 250 yen/kg
* Coffee, sugar premiums firm
* Butter ratios at highest since 2009
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, July 1 Slowing economic growth in
main rubber consumer China could keep Tokyo futures capped this
week, while Asian demand for robusta will help premiums stay at
multi-month highs, dealers said on Monday.
High refining margins will highlight the sugar market, where
Thai millers have been producing more whites to meet demand
ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan later in July. In
cocoa, butter ratios will hold at a four-year peak.
A weaker yen initially sent the most active December rubber
contract on Tokyo Commodity Exchange to a high of 239
yen a kg, its strongest since June 21. The contract later
dropped back as concerns about China resurfaced.
China's official purchasing managers' index slipped to 50.1
in June from 50.8 in May, a survey showed on Monday, reinforcing
worries about tepid growth in the second quarter.
"I can't expect to see much demand from China," said Gu
Jiong, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co in Tokyo, who pegged
resistance at 250 yen a kg.
"But I heard that stocks in Qingdao are decreasing. It can
still support the price in this low level," said Gu.
Inventory in China's bonded warehouses have been estimated
by dealers at 300,000 to 350,000 tonnes. Stocks at Qingdao makes
up the bulk of China's rubber stocks, but the quantity is not
disclosed to the public.
Demand from Asian roasters will stir up the robusta market,
although prices in London seem unable to defy pressure from
arabica futures in New York, which last month plunged to the
weakest since mid-2009 due to a large Brazilian off-year crop.
Robusta is either blended with arabica beans for lower-cost
brewed coffee or processed into instant coffee.
Robusta premiums in second-largest producer Indonesia could
rise above the $200 quoted last week, their highest since early
2012, as excessive rains disrupted deliveries from plantations.
"It doesn't make sense for robusta to stay at high levels
when there's so much pressure on arabica," Joyce Liu, an
investment analyst at Phillip Futures.
"But robusta is still more supported because of an increase
in demand. More and more Asians like to drink coffee, and they
tend to go for robustas."
In the sugar market, white-over-raws premiums, which measure
refining profitability, could hold at $140 a tonne this week, up
from $115 earlier in the year. Thai millers have already been
remelting raw sugar into whites to take advantage of high
Cocoa butter may trade at their highest ratios since 2009,
above 2.0 times London futures , with a plan by Archer
Daniels Midland Co to sell its cocoa division creating
concerns about supplies in coming months.