SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures fell for a second consecutive session on Wednesday tracking lower physical prices in top producer Thailand, while an intensified price war and oversupply of electric cars weighed on sentiment.

The Osaka Exchange’s (OSE) rubber contract for October delivery closed at 309.3 yen ($2.00) per kg, down 3.8 yen or 1.23%. The rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) for September delivery fell 155 yuan to finish at 14,215 yuan ($1,961.85) per metric ton.

Thailand’s benchmark export-grade smoked rubber sheet (RSS3) was quoted at 82.48 baht ($2.24) per kg on a free-on-board basis on Wednesday, 1.42% lower than Tuesday, according to LSEG data. China’s state planner expects an intensified price war among automakers of electric cars and plug-in hybrids this year because of overhanging supply, among other issues, the government body said in a statement. But while there is a peril in China’s overcapacity, there is also a power in the hyper-competition it has unleashed, analysts, suppliers and executives say.

The yen remained mired near a 34-year low versus the US dollar, even as Japanese officials stepped up intervention warnings. The success of Japan and South Korea at inserting language voicing concern over their currencies in a joint statement with the US this week underscores the political heat they face from stiff inflation that is being aggravated by weak exchange rates.

Tesla said on Tuesday it would introduce “new models” by early 2025 using its current platforms and production lines as it retreated from more ambitious plans to produce an all-new model that had been expected to cost $25,000.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for May delivery last traded at 160.1 US cents per kg, down 0.44%.

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