By Lucy Craymer and Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol

Asian rubber prices ended the session higher due to concerns that the availability of natural rubber will be reduced further after record rainfall in Thailand hit production.

Severe flooding and heavy rains in southern Thailand -- the world's largest natural rubber producer -- over the past week has killed 21 people and left two people missing, according to the Thai government's national disaster prevention and mitigation command center.

These same floods have halted rubber tapping and damaged plantations. Thailand's Agriculture Ministry said that 210,287 acres or 4.6% of Thailand's rubber growing area had been damaged by the floods.

Furthermore, the Thai Meteorological Department warns that more heavy rains are expected in the southern region until at least Tuesday.

Natural rubber supplies are already tight after production fell in 2016 when prices declined to a level where it was no longer economical for farmers to continue tapping for natural rubber.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange was closed Monday for a public holiday.

Asian Rubber Futures

Jan 9 Change from previous close

Tocom Jun RSS3 CLOSED CLOSED

Shanghai May SCR5 CNY18,430/Ton Up CNY415/Ton

Sicom Feb RSS3 US 243.5 cents/Kg Up US 8.5 cents/Kg

Sicom Feb TSR20 US 204.0 cents/Kg Up US 11 cents/Kg

USS Jan THB75.77-THB76.16/Kg THB74.51-THB75.35/Kg

Write to Lucy Craymer at lucy.craymer@wsj.com, @lucy_craymer

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 09, 2017 05:51 ET (10:51 GMT)

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