SINGAPORE, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Inventory of imported rubberin China's bonded warehouses have slipped 4 percent since theend of August, dealers said on Tuesday, reflecting an increasein demand from local tyre makers and optimism about the economy.
Rubber stocks at Qingdao, which are closely watched and makeup the bulk of China's inventory, dropped to 283,000 tonnes onSept. 17 from 295,000 tonnes on Aug. 30. Stocks in the bondedwarehouses are not disclosed publicly, and dealers and analystscollect data on quantities from offices in Qingdao.
China is the world's largest rubber consumer, accounting forabout 35 percent of global consumption. Rubber stocks at Qingdaoconsist of natural, synthetic and compound rubber.
"I think the drop in the stocks tells us that demand ispicking up," said a dealer in Singapore. "Prices in the overseasmarket are no longer cheap like before, so it makes sense forbuyers to get rubber from the warehouses."
Benchmark TOCOM rubber prices, which are currentlytrading above 270 yen per kg, have recovered more than 20percent from a nine-month low plumbed in June.
Rubber demand is expected to be firm in China as indicatedby vehicle sales in the country, which according to the ChinaAssociation of Automobile Manufacturers rose 10.3 percent inAugust from a year ago. In January, the CAAM had forecast a 7percent rise in China vehicle sales in 2013.
Growth in China's trade will stabilise in the coming months,the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, adding that it wasconfident the country could meet its target of 8 percent growthin overall trade this year. (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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