The global synthetic fiber price decline that began in December accelerated in January, hurt by an overall softness in synthetic fiber, yarn and textile prices. Sluggish demand for apparel and other textile products around the world and a healthy supply of fiber raw materials are at the root of the problem.
According to data released by consulting firm PCI Fibres, the global synthetic fiber price index–which tracks the weighted average price for acrylic, nylon, polyester and polypropylene filament yarns and staple fibers–fell by 5.9% in the last month compared to the same month last year, after a 2.5% drop in December.
In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region, prices dropped 9.6% in January, twice December’s 4.8% rate of decline.
In China, polyester fiber prices continued their steady downward slide resulting from lower raw material costs, particularly those of PTA, coupled with weak demand for filament fabrics and spun yarn. In India and Pakistan, both fiber and spun yarn prices fell slightly in the month.
Downward pressure on spun yarn prices and lower intermediates prices will no doubt continue to challenge polyester spinners in China.
Nylon (polyamide) prices slid unexpectedly toward the end of the year, following a sharp drop in intermediates prices accompanied by weak seasonal demand, but then remained stable in January ahead of the Lunar New Year break.
Although spandex prices remain high relative to one year ago, they began to fall in China in December, a reversal of the persistent firming trend earlier in the year, but are expected to firm and possibly even increase in coming weeks. Demand for spandex-containing fabric remains high in key markets around the world. Acrylic yarn prices remained stable.
Asian synthetic fiber prices finished the year almost 21% below the world.
The European index dipped 1.7% in the month, on top of a .7% decline in December. European synthetic prices are about 23% above the world average.
The U.S. index fell by 1.9%. The U.S. synthetic fiber prices index was almost 48% above the global average.