TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures closed flat on Wednesday, staying near a 2-1/2 year low hit in the previous session, as worries about demand from the troubled euro zone and top rubber consumer China kept investors away.
“The TOCOM market looks to have more room for the downside because of continued weakness on the demand side,” said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at commodity trading house Fujitomi.
“I see little chance of investors returning until the FOMC meeting,” he said, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy setting meeting which is due to be held next week.
The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for December delivery <0#2JRU:> settled unchanged at 227 yen per kg after moving between 225.5 yen and 230 yen.
On Tuesday, the December contract fell as low as 222.4 yen, the lowest for any benchmark since Nov. 2, 2009.
The spot July contract on Wednesday expired at 215.5 yen, flat from the previous day’s close, with 238 deliveries.
In Shanghai, the most-active rubber contract for January delivery fell to 22,055 yuan per tonne, compared with Monday’s 22,295 yuan.
The front-month August rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange was last traded at 283.90 U.S. cents per kg, up 0.4 cents.
In producing countries, Thai and Indonesian rubber grades were sold at their lowest level since 2008 after a recent sell-off in TOCOM futures, but cheaper prices ignited buying interest from top consumer China, dealers said on Wednesday.
China imported 985,970 tonnes of rubber from January to June, up 12.8 percent from a year ago. (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Risa Maeda; Editing by Miral Fahmy)