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TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures slid on Thursday for a second day on worries over slower demand as the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to drive global cases higher.

Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for December delivery finished 3.9 yen, or 1.8%, lower at 217.0 yen ($2.0) per kg. It had dropped to 215.0 yen, just shy of the 214.8 yen hit last Friday, which marked the lowest since November last year.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for August delivery last traded at 161.4 US cents per kg, down 1.2%.

Meanwhile, the rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery rose 140 yuan to finish at 13,395 yuan ($2,067) a tonne.

Shanghai prices gained because they have underperformed Osaka and Singapore recently and inventories there have been falling, the dealer said.

Malaysian’s Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), citing supply shortage concerns, on Thursday said it had pleaded with the government to allow the sector to resume operations in Selangor, where a tighter lockdown had been imposed.

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