KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian rubber market is expected to trade range-bound and prices and demand to be muted with a very slight tendency to move up amid global uncertainties and volatility of the ringgit against the US dollar.
Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) immediate past president Denis Low said the rubber market continues to be sluggish despite the lower capacity output during this monsoon period.
He believes that it is mainly attributable to the recent COVID-19 scare in China where many big industrial cities are in total lockdown.
Rubber usage is always attuned to logistics and the movement of people.
“Whenever there is a serious lack of movement of people and logistics, it also means the slowdown of businesses and productivity which hampers the usage of rubber,” he told Bernama.
For the moment, he said the prices and demand are at least holding up due to the inclement weather, and hopefully replenishment and stocking-up activities will continue.
Another dealer said rubber prices will continue to track the performance of regional rubber futures markets, the strength of ringgit against the US dollar and benchmark crude oil prices amid weaker economic growth expected in 2023.
“Market operators are expected to monitor the upcoming global economic indicators on top of developments from the widening COVID-19 curbs in China for further cues,” he said.
On a Friday-to-Thursday basis, Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR) 20 decreased 16 sen to 561 sen a kilogramme (kg) from 577 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk lost 9.0 sen to 462 sen a kg from 471 sen a kg a week earlier.
At 5 pm on Friday, MRB’s closing price for SMR 20 stood at 559 sen a kg and latex-in-bulk was at 460 sen a kg. - Bernama