* TOCOM rubber seen in range of 250 to 270 yen/kg
* Thai sugar premiums pressured by harvest, ample supply
* Coffee differentials seen steady, butter ratios firm
(Adds technicals, TOCOM closing)
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Nov 26 Tokyo rubber futures are set
to track movements in oil prices this week, trading in a range
of 20 yen a kg, as tension in the Middle East helps the market
resist pressure from high inventory in main consumer China,
dealers said on Monday.
Among other soft commodities, Thai sugar premiums could slip
as crushing picks up, roasters may chase robustas from Vietnam
and Indonesia, and Asian butter ratios enjoy firm demand from
chocolate makers in Europe.
The most active rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity
Exchange rose as high as 263 yen a kg, its strongest
since Oct. 29, on a weaker yen and recent gains in oil. In
theory, high crude oil makes synthetic rubber more expensive.
"I think crude oil is supportive for rubber because there
are a lot of uncertainties in the Middle East. We are looking at
a range of 250 yen to 270 yen, which is the strong resistance
level," an agriculture analyst in Kuala Lumpur said.
"But the debt crisis in Europe is grinding. I wouldn't say
bearish or bullish either. It's a mixed market. I don't see any
follow through buying even if the market moves upward. It's a
The April contract ended 1.9 yen a kg lower at 259.8 yen.
Brent crude held above $111 a barrel as hopes Greece could
avoid a near-term bankruptcy brightened the outlook for oil
demand from Europe, while violent protests in Egypt reignited
Rubber inventories in key Shanghai warehouses rose by more
than a third from the previous week to reach their highest in
2-1/2 years on Friday, as sluggish demand from end-users swelled
Manufacturers have also turned to cheaper imports to meet
their needs. Imports in the first 10 months of the year have
risen about six percent from a year ago to stand at 1.75 million
In sugar, Japanese buyers could be in the market again to
replenish stocks, but premiums for Thai high polarisation, or
hipol, raw sugar may fall from last week's levels of 60 to 65
points because of ample supply.
The International Sugar Organization has raised its forecast
for a projected global sugar surplus in 2012/13 to 6.18 million
tonnes, saying prices could remain under bearish pressure until
the end of the current crop cycle.
Coffee may fare better, with demand from roasters expected
to keep differentials steady in Vietnam and Indonesia despite
the bearish outlook for the commodity, which has sent prices in
London to their weakest since February.
"Generally, the coffee market has been on the downtrend and
we don't see this reversing very soon because overall, we know
that supply largely outpaces demand," said Lynette Tan, senior
investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"Comparing arabica to robusta, I think robusta probably has
a better chance to reverse the trend, as more commercial buyers
are turning to robusta for a cheaper brew."
Commodities investment guru Jim Rogers told Reuters recently
he sees the NYSE Liffe market for robusta futures
nearly doubling in size as demand grows, with Asian consumers
quaffing more of the traditionally Western drink.
In the cocoa market, butter ratios could stay at their
strongest since late 2009 on Christmas demand, tight supply in
Europe and worries that a recent tax move in Ivory Coast could
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Himani Sarkar)