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Global Synthetic Price Declines Tempered in June

The global synthetic fiber price decline that began late last year and intensified in early 2014 was tempered somewhat last month, according to the newest data from consulting firm PCI Fibres. The index measuring the average price for acrylic, nylon, polyester and polypropylene filament yarns and staple fell by 2.5% in June on top of May’s 4 percent drop.

The fashion preference for synthetic fibers over cotton has been more than offset by slow global demand for apparel and other textile products, particularly in key Chinese and North American markets. However, a reported reduction in polyester supply in China helped firm prices there.

In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region, prices fell by more than 4 percent in the month compared to last year. Though a significant improvement compared to May’s almost 9 percent drop, there seems to be no indication that demand has rebounded in Asia. However, rationalization of polyester supply in China resulted in price increases. For most of the month, staple and filament prices rose, though texturizers had a somewhat tougher time passing along increases. It remains to be seen whether these increased synthetic prices will continue. Polyester prices in India rose about 1.5%.

Asian nylon (polyamide) prices were off slightly in the month due to slowing demand, and have fallen by almost 10 percent in the past year. Rising prices of intermediates, particularly caprolactam, have squeezed margins for fiber producers. The seasonal demand that usually helps firm prices has not yet materialized in the region.

Spandex prices were down slightly in June due to reported soft demand.

Asian synthetic fiber prices are almost 21 percent below the world average.

The European synthetic fiber price index was up by 0.6%, the only regional increase, pushing European synthetic prices almost 25 percent above the world average.

The U.S. index fell by 2.1%, putting the U.S. synthetic fiber prices index almost 46 percent above the global average.