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Tokyo rubber hits 2-1/2 months high on May 30

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures rose to 2-1/2-month highs on Thursday, extending gains into a fifth session, as firmer physical prices in Thailand lent support amid worries over supply tightness, dealers said. The benchmark TOCOM rubber contract for November delivery finished 1.2 yen, or 0.6%, higher at 194.2 yen ($1.77) per kg. It touched the highest since March 15 of 196.6 yen earlier in the session.

"TOCOM's front-month contracts are still at much higher levels than forward-month contracts amid concerns over supply tightness due to dryer weather at some producing countries," a Tokyo-based dealer said. "But I think the bullish tone will not last too long because of concerns that an escalating Sino-US trade war could hurt demand," he said.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 50 yuan to finish at 12,030 yuan ($1,742) per tonne.

TOCOM's technically specified rubber (TSR) 20 futures contract for November delivery closed up 1.1% at 163.4 yen per kg.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for June delivery last traded at 153.8 US cents per kg, down 1%.

Provoking trade disputes is "naked economic terrorism", a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday, ramping up the rhetoric against the United States amid a bitter trade war that is showing no signs of ending soon.

China's new policy on mixed rubber imports will affect 50% of such imports from Thailand and all such imports from Vietnam, an official from the nation's natural rubber association said on Wednesday.

Thailand is unlikely to cut its rubber exports immediately, the president of the country's rubber association said on Wednesday, further delaying implementation of a supply cut agreement with other regional producers.

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