Rubber Update with Bonus!

Dandelion
Dandelion... rubber... tires?

Rubber to Hover Near Current Level on Tight Supply, More Demand, IRCO Says

Natural rubber prices are likely to hover near the current level for the next two months because of tight supply and increasing demand, according to the International Rubber Consortium Ltd.

The average physical price in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the top three producers, may be about $3 per kilogram in the next one to two months, steady compared with the average so far this year, said Abdul Rasip Latiff, chief executive officer of the Bangkok-based group. Rasip spoke in an interview in Phuket after meeting with the International Tripartite Rubber Council, which represents growers and exporters in the three countries, on Aug. 6.

Rubber futures recovered from a five-month low of 250.9 yen a kilogram ($2,916 a metric ton) on May 17 due to optimism that economic expansion and low stockpiles in China and Japan would drive consumption. January-delivery rubber fell 0.3 percent to 281.3 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange at 10:19 a.m. (full article)

Dandelion – Enzyme = Tire

Something to think about the next time you’re pulling weeds in the backyard. Taken from an awesome Popular Mechanics article…

Scorned as a weed, the dandelion is a potential source of natural rubber, according to scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany. The white liquid that seeps from a broken dandelion stalk is natural latex, but the sap is ill-suited for industrial use because it immediately begins to harden. The researchers identified an enzyme in the plant that causes this rapid polymerization and found that the sap can produce five times more latex if the enzyme is chemically “turned off.” Dandelions might make an attractive backup as a rampaging fungus attacks rubber trees in Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of the world’s natural rubber is now grown. (full article)

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