KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian rubber market fell to the lowest level since December 2018, tracking the poor performance of the regional rubber futures markets after the crude oil prices dropped as much as 30 per cent in early trading.
The market also reacted negatively to the decline in China's exports data released at the weekend.
A dealer said lower crude oil prices would spur demand for natural rubber's rival -- synthetic rubber -- which is largely made from petroleum by-products.
"The lower crude oil prices would make the rival product cheaper for traders," he said.
The dealer said China’s weakening exports data which saw its combined exports for January and February 2020 contracted by 17.2 per cent due to COVID-19 impact, also hurt the buying interest for the local commodity.
At 12 pm, the Malaysian Rubber Board’s (MRB) reference physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 fell 22 sen to 515.50 sen per kg and latex-in-bulk lost 10.5 sen to 438.0 per kg.
At 5 pm, the MRB’s reference physical price for SMR 20 shed 12.5 sen to 524.0 sen per kg, while latex-in-bulk slipped six sen to 442.0 sen per kg.
TAGS: rubber market, COVID-19, SMR 20, Malaysian Rubber Board, crude oil, synthetic rubber