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Covid-19 to shrink global natural rubber demand by 8.2%, drag Indian price below Rs 100: Experts

Date: 01-04-2020
Subject: Covid-19 to shrink global natural rubber demand by 8.2%, drag Indian price below Rs 100: Experts
Covid-hit global economy will buy 8.2% less of natural rubber (NR) in the current April, in comparison to the amount bought during the same period in 2019, forecasts Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). NR price (SMR-20 grade) had suffered 18.5% decline during the 33 days from February 21 to March 24.

“Increasing worries about the global economic tsunami are expected to dominate the sentiments in NR markets during April,” said RB Premadasa, secretary general, ANRPC,in his foreword to the March-2020 bulletin.

ANRPC bulletin also cautioned that the estimated 8.2% shrink in rubber demand, is without factoring in the potential consumption downsizing in India, Thailand, Malaysia,Indonesia and Vietnam, “which are facing emergencies and lockdowns from the end of March”.

The forecast is that India is likely to import less volumes of NR in April and May, compared to the same period in the previous year, while China’s NR import volumes will increase. “In a positive development, in the midst of aggravating conditions elsewhere, China has resumed work”, said ANRPC report.

The price of RSS-4 grade at Kottayam, the country’s rubber hub, is influenced by domestic factors, besides the global trends.

India sources from overseas about 40% of its domestic NR demand. The 25% Customs duty helps the domestic market rule higher than the comparable overseas market. Due to the complete lockdown for 21 days from March 25, prices are not quoted.

“Technically, we see NR prices dip to Rs 100 per kilo and possibly lower in the short term before prices find a potential bottom,” Akshay Agarwal, MD, Acumen Capital told FE. However, there is an upside. “A strong sustained activity over key resistance at Rs 125 per kilo could trigger a reversal in prices,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ANRPC bulletin points to another factor – the crude effect.

Brent crude oil tumbled 61.8% during February 20 to March 18, 2020.

Commodity indices dropped sharply following the collapse of crude oil and NR followed suit.

“If crude oil prices starts falling as predicted, we expect another 5% decline in rubber futures on ICEX,” said Kunal Shah, head of commodities research, Nirmal Bang.

Source:- financialexpress

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