Halcyon Agri posts 4Q18 loss as trade war pushes rubber prices to lows

Rubber bicycle tyre; taken September 2018.Rubber bicycle tyre

Natural rubber producer Halcyon Agri reported on Thursday a fourth quarter net loss of US$7.4 million (S$9.98 million), swinging from a year-ago profit of US$11.4 million, despite higher sales volumes, as rubber prices fell.

In the quarter, rubber prices hit their lowest levels of both 2017 and 2018, the company said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Thursday.

“We continue to see challenges in the natural rubber market, compounded by the gloomy macroeconomic outlook as trade tensions increase between China and the U.S. and global economic growth remains uncertain,” Robert Meyer, executive director and CEO, said in the statement. “This is further exacerbated by limited raw materials available due to weak rubber prices. To fulfill deliveries, we paid higher prices and our margins took a hit.”

Revenue for the quarter ended 31 December increased 5.1 percent on-year to US$538.3 million as total sales volume increased 15.5 percent on-year, Halcyon Agri said.

For the full year, it reported a net loss of US$8.5 million, swinging from a year-earlier net profit of US$31.0 million, on revenue of US$2.14 billion.

Halcyon Agri proposed a final dividend of 1 Singapore cent, unchanged from a year earlier.

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