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Global Synthetic Price Declines Bottom Out in April

The global synthetic fiber price decline that began late last year and intensified in early 2014 was tempered somewhat in April, according to data released by consulting firm PCI Fibres. The index measuring the average price for acrylic, nylon, polyester and polypropylene filament yarns and staple fell by 3.5% last month, less than both March’s 6 percent drop and February’s 7 percent decline.

Fashion preferences for synthetic fibers over cotton were more than offset by slowing global demand for apparel and other textile products around the world and a persistent oversupply of polyester capacity in Asia.

In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region,  synthetic fiber prices are more than 21 percent below the world average. Prices dropped almost 7 percent in April compared to last year after an almost 10 percent drop in March. Virtually all of the decline was attributed to polyester prices in China dipping to near historically low levels. Despite the volatility in oil prices due to the unstable situation in Ukraine, occasional increases in raw material costs failed to result in even a blip in polyester prices as unused texturizing and textile production capacity continues to exert downward pressure on prices.

In India, polyester prices have risen slightly due to tighter POY and textured yarn availability.

Asian nylon (polyamide) prices fell about 3.5% in April due to declining demand and lower raw materials prices. Prices for nylon 6 in China remain 10 percent below their levels one year ago. However, seasonal demand is expected to help firm prices in the coming weeks.

Spandex prices, which edged down slightly in March due to a slight increase in production capacity, were flat in April and are now about 5 percent higher than year-ago levels on a dollar basis. Seasonal demand for fabrics containing spandex is rebounding in the Asian market, where a growing share of ready-to-wear contains the stretch fiber.

The European synthetic fiber price index rose 2.4% in the month, the only region to register an increase in April. European synthetic prices are more than 26 percent above the world average.

The US index fell by 2 percent, putting the US synthetic fiber price index nearly 47 percent above the global average.