BANGKOK, July 25 (Reuters) - Trading in Asian physical rubber remained thin as sellers were forced to dispose of stocks to avoid losses amid declining prices, while buyers stayed on the sidelines, waiting for prices to fall further, traders said on Friday.
Major tyremakers bought the benchmark Thai smoked rubber sheet (RSS3) at $1.99 per kg, they said.
"That was below their cost of around $2.03 per kg," said a trader in Thailand Hat Yai rubber centre.
Thai blocked rubber grade (STR20) changed hands at $1.70-$1.72 per kg, slightly below the production cost of around $1.75 per kg, traders said.
Unfavourable rains in Thailand's south, the country's major rubber growing area, have helped lift prices slightly higher, they said. However, that deterred buyers from buying.
"Buyers expect prices to fall further and they are waiting for that," said a Malaysian trader.
Dealers said tyremakers switched to buy Indonesian grade blocked rubber as prices were more competitive compared to Thai grades.
Indonesian blocked rubber (SIR20) was sold at $1.68 per kg, well below the same grade from Thailand which was offered at $1.75-$1.80 per kg, traders said. (Reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)