News this week in 1965 that China was back in the market for rubber here gave a boost to rubber prices, which went to their highest levels in months, close to the 70 cents mark.
China was believed to have accepted offers for about 3,000 tons of rubber from the Singapore market, The Straits Times reported.
China used to buy thousands of tons of rubber a year from the market here: The highest purchase was 64,036 tons in 1958, but it bought only 9,000 tons in 1963, 114 tons in 1964 and had no direct purchases for the first nine months of 1965.
Many in business circles were said to be discussing the news, wondering if this was the start of a new buying programme.
Mr Gan Teck Yeow, chairman of the Malayan Rubber Export Registration Board, said China had resumed buying rubber from the Singapore market, probably because of its strained relations with Indonesia after an attempted coup there. The coup attempt in Jakarta on the night of Sept 30, 1965, had been linked to the Indonesian Communist Party, which is close to Beijing.
"Whether they buy directly from us or from Singapore does not matter. The interests of Singapore and Malaysia are economically interdependent," he said.
China continued to buy rubber from the area and was the second top buyer of Malayan rubber for the first quarter of 1966, behind Russia.