An increase in freight rates is observed due to the lower availability of vessels, affected by route cuts in the Red Sea and delays in the Panama Canal. This situation, which is likely to intensify in the coming weeks, suggests the possibility of facing higher costs and delivery delays. Therefore, it is advisable to take advantage of the moment to make strategic purchases of natural rubber and latex. Bringing forward procurement can be a practical decision to avoid potential cost increases and ensure continuity in the supply chain. Despite some economic uncertainties in China, natural rubber and latex prices remain stable for now, presenting a considerable opportunity to plan and act with foresight.

AI (3)PRICE STABILITY: IS IT A GOOD TIME TO INVEST?
Prices of natural rubber and latex remain stable this week, after investor profit-taking in the first days of January.

ECONOMIC CHALLENGES IN CHINA
China's latest economic data was mostly negative. Added to the recently announced drop in industrial activity is new deflation data (-0.3% year-on-year in December) and the announcement of the bankruptcy of the financial company Zhongzhi, which is highly exposed to the real estate segment. It is one of the largest bankruptcies in Chinese history, although the fact that the creditors are mostly wealthy individuals and not financial institutions limits the direct impact on the financial system.

GLOVE MARKET ON THE RISE
Projections for the latex glove market in 2024 improve. The consulting firm RHB Research has improved its growth projection from 4% to 7%.

USA IN INFLATION

US inflation was 0.3% monthly in December, slightly above expectations.

FREIGHTS AND PRICE INCREASES

Strong rise in freight prices globally, already having an impact on all routes. They project a decrease in the availability of ships for the third and fourth week of January due to the conflict in the Red Sea and to a lesser extent the drought in Panama. The conflict in the Red Sea escalated at the end of the week with US and UK bombing of Houthi positions in Yemen. The powers aim to neutralize this group's ability to attack commercial ships. For its part, Maersk announced that it will move its cargo by land to avoid delays generated in the Panama Canal.

 

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