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TOKYO: Japan’s rubber market climbed to its highest in nearly two months on Wednesday, following expectations that rising oil prices may encourage higher demand for natural rubber, while the Shanghai market edged higher.

“We are expecting a rebound in rubber prices as the demand from the automobile industry is increasing,” said a senior official at a leading tyre-maker in Singapore.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery finished 7.8 yen, or 3.2%, higher at 250 yen ($2.19) per kg. The benchmark hit the highest since Nov. 26 of 253.1 yen earlier in the session.

Oil prices rose for a fourth straight session, as an outage on a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey increased concerns about an already tight supply outlook amid worrisome geopolitical troubles in Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Synthetic rubber is derived from crude oil and a higher oil market serves as a driver for natural rubber prices as well. The natural rubber market also benefits from stronger oil prices as that could lead to a shift from synthetic rubber.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 30 yuan to finish 14,900 yuan ($2,347) per tonne.

The OSE shrugged off news that Toyota Motor Corp expects to miss its annual 9 million vehicle production target because of competition for semiconductors. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for February delivery last traded at 180.4 U.S. cents per kg, up 0.4%, after hitting its highest in three months earlier in the session.

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