Rubber and Oil Update

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Rubber Production in December 2010 Up 16.6 Percent Month-on-Month

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (Bernama) — Natural rubber production in December 2010 stood at 85, 231 tonnes, 16.6 per cent or 12,131 tonnes higher, compared to the previous month.

However, year-on-year comparison showed production dwindled 12.1 per cent, said the Statistics Department in a statement on Friday.

It said the smallholding sector contributed 93.7 per cent of total production while the estate sector’s contribution was only 6.3 per cent. (read more)

Rubber uptick continues

Natural rubber prices improved sharply at yesterday’s public auction after a short lull triggered by Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Colombo Rubber Auction saw the Latex Crepe No. 1 hitting new highs as the prices reached Rs.685, up from Rs.25 from the last auction with RSS No. 1 hitting Rs.638.5

Unsettled weather in the region with persistent wet weather has effected production in most rubber planting countries including Sri Lanka, whilst trees in most areas have started shedding leaves indicating signs of wintering. (read more)

Thai Sheet Rubber Likely To Extend Rally On Output

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)–Prices in Thailand for raw material used to make sheet rubber are likely to rise more than 10% next month as seasonal factors deepen a supply crunch, extending a recent sharp rally that has sent rubber futures skyrocketing, traders said Friday.

With producers making more raw material for block rubber and the wintering season starting in the next few weeks, spot prices for USS3 unsmoked rubber sheet could reach THB200 a kilogram, a trader in Hat Yai province said. (read more)

Ansell reports higher sales, profits for 6 months

RICHMOND, Victoria, Australia (Feb. 10, 2011)—Ansell Ltd. has reported sales up by 9 percent and profits up by 6 percent for the six months to Dec. 31.

The company said sales rose to $583.7 million in the six months, up by about 9 percent on the previous year’s first-half figure of $533.3 million.

Profits (EBIT) increased to $69.3 million from $65.6 million a year earlier. (read more)

FDA calls for warning statements on powdered gloves

Powdered medical gloves, including surgeon’s and patient examination gloves, should carry a warning label about the potential adverse health effects associated with powder, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

In a draft guidance document to manufacturers, the FDA expressed concern that users and patients may not be aware of the potential negative consequences related to powdered gloves, including allergic reactions and respiratory problems. (read more)

Ansell expects latex costs to stay high

Gloves and condoms supplier Ansell Ltd says bad weather has contributed to pushing the cost of rubber latex to its highest ever levels, and the company expects it to stay high in the second half of the 2010/11 financial year.

Ansell on Wednesday booked a first half net profit of $64.2 million, up 4.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

In US dollars, which is Ansell’s operating currency, net profit for the six months to December 31 rose 12 per cent to $$US 61.0 million. (read more)

Rubber hits fresh  high in firm market

Rubber prices hit a fresh high in a very firm market today, with SMR 20 and latex-in-bulk garnering global interest, dealers said.

A dealer said increasing demand as opposed to supply shortage, made the highly sought commodity extend gains.

At noon, the Malaysian Rubber Board official physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 rose 12 sen to 1,717.5 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk gained six sen to 1,056.0 sen per kg. (read more)

Rubber craze

A bullish rubber market has encouraged CP Group to beef up its rubber business with fresh investment in the mid-stream industry to supply products for the tyre business of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.

Montri Congtrakultien believes the CP Group can profit from the rush to own rubber plantations amid higher prices for the commodity. The group expects to sell 600,000 rubber saplings to farmers this year.

The first plant, to be built this year with a capacity to make 20,000 tonnes of block rubber a year for use in the tyre industry, is expected to be located in the new rubber production sites of the North or Northeast (read more)

The Oil Question From Egypt: What Happens Now in Saudi Arabia?

Hosni Mubarek’s rapid depature from the Presidency, just one day after vowing to serve out his term, is an amazing demonstration of the power that the protesters were able to wield. Without a trace of violence, the numbers and persistence were enough to topple a 30-year old regime that had the full support of the military. Leaving the politics aside for the moment, there is a growing likelihood that the success of these protests in Egypt will embolden others in the region to step up their efforts and more actively seek change. In the Middle East, there have been indications of potential unrest in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon. But for Saudi Arabia, there is a greater global concern to consider — oil. (read more)

Venezuela Oil Basket Drops $1.96 On Week To $85.64/Barrel

CARACAS (Dow Jones)–The average price for Venezuela’s basket of crude oil and refined products fell $1.96 to $85.64 a barrel during the week that ends Friday, the Oil Ministry said.

So far this year, prices of the country’s oil have averaged $85.75 per barrel, compared with $72.69 in 2010 and $57.01 in 2009. (read more)

Dollar, Gold, Oil Move Lower After Mubarak Exit

As President Hosni Mubarak steps down, plenty of positive reactions in the financial markets, but no shortage of nervousness, too.

Matt notes that the Egypt ETF (EGPT) has spiked higher. In addition, oil prices have pulled back from highs and Treasurys have eased – a little bit — from recent safety-driven gains. (read more)

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