According to the result of import of natural rubber from January to June 2016 summarised by The Rubber Trade Association of Japan, import amount of raw rubber was 345,322t, which is 7% less, and the amount of money of import was 51,454,220,000 JPY, which is 28% less in comparison with the same term of the previous year.
In June alone, import amount was 53,470t in total, which is 9% less in comparison with the same month of the previous year, and it was turned to a decline from an increase in the previous month. The amount of money was 8,416,640,000 JPY, which is 26% less in comparison with the same month of the previous year, and it decreased for 10 months in a row.
Also the average import price of natural rubber for June is 157.4 JPY per kilo, which is 15.8 JPY higher than the previous month, and it was a rise for 2 months in a row. The comparison with the same month of the previous year, it was a drop by 35.3 JPY.
Production amount of tyres that takes most part of the consumption of natural rubber has been tending to decrease continuously. Production amount of automotive tyres and tubes from January to March was 7.2% less in comparison with the same term of the previous year (investigated by JATMA). Also the production amount of automotive tyres and tubes was 6.1% less in comparison with the same term of the previous year. Production amounts for four-wheeled vehicles in March alone and May alone were higher than the same months in the previous year, but it is hard to call it a recovery. And recoveries of tyres and tubes for light vehicles, trucks and buses that lead demands during the previous year have been delayed.
Looking back the import result of natural rubber of 2016 in this kind of demand environment, import amount of January was a increase for the first time after 5 months, but it continued to decline again from February. May saw an increase in import amount for the first time after 4 months, but the difference was not big enough to push up the total import amount of the first half of the year.
Specific import amounts are, 58,733t in January (1% more in comparison with the same month of the previous year), 54,752t in February (12% less in the same comparison), 65,345t in March (2% less in the same comparison), 50,698t in April (18% less in the same comparison), 62,324t (slightly more in the same comparison) and it turned to even less in June.
Prices of natural rubber have been shifting at low level from some factors such as drop of crude oil prices that has been said it has high correlation and collapse of demand balance, and the amount of money for import of natural rubber continued to fall in a range that surpasses the decline of quantity. Prices of natural rubber in producing countries had increased from some factors like, crude oil prices had a tendency of increase after it fell down to the bottom, four main natural rubber producing countries have implemented a policy of export reduction since March 1st 2016, and furthermore it was affected by unsettled weather. Some changes are expected with transition of import prices.
On the other hand, with regard to the transition of monthly average import price (JPY/kg), it continued to fall like 159.3 JPY in January (14.1 JPY less in comparison with the same month of the previous year), 152.9 JPY in February (6.4 JPY less in the same comparison), 143.1 JPY in March (9.8 JPY less in the same comparison) and 140.8 JPY in April (2.3 JPY less in the same comparison). Increases of local prices in producing countries started to affect after that, and it was 141.6 JPY in May (0.8 JPY more in the same comparison), then June saw even further increase.