TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Tokyo rubber futures fell more than 3 percent on Wednesday to their lowest level since October 2009, tracking a fall in Shanghai rubber prices that was triggered by fears that Chinese economic data due this week will be worse than expected.
An industry group also trimmed its global rubber consumption forecast for this year, weighing on prices.
China is due to release a slew of data on Thursday and Friday which is expected to show a modest economic recovery taking hold in July, but overall commodity imports are likely to fall for the second consecutive month.
“Stop-loss selling was triggered after the Shanghai market reversed early gains and extended declines this afternoon,” said a commodity analyst at a Japanese brokerage, adding that there had been speculation that the Chinese data may be weaker than expected.
“The TOCOM market now looks a bit oversold, but it’s too early to make such a bet. We should wait for the economic data from China tomorrow,” the analyst said.
The most-active Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for January delivery fell 8 yen, or 3.5 percent, to settle at 219.2 yen per kg.
It earlier fell as low as 218.5 yen, breaking through below last month’s trough of 222.4 yen.
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) on Tuesday forecast global rubber consumption at 26.6 million tonnes in 2012, lower than its previous estimate of 26.8 million tonnes but up from 25.9 million tonnes in 2011.
Global demand for natural and synthetic rubber is likely to rise 4 percent year-on-year to 27.7 million tonnes in 2013 as consumers start rebuilding inventories, the group said.
In other markets, the most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for January delivery fell 570 yuan to 22,135 yuan per tonne.
The front-month September rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange was last traded at 259.9 U.S. cents per kg, down 10 cents.
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Miral Fahmy)
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