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Nylon Ingredient Cost Hikes Temper Synthetic Price Declines in July

The global synthetic fiber price decline that began late last year and intensified in early 2014 continued to be tempered somewhat in July, 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 0.9% in July, less than June’s 2.5% drop, and the smallest monthly decline in 10 months.

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 spike in nylon prices caused by a rise in intermediates prices helped soften the index’s fall.

In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region, synthetic fiber prices fell by 2.5% in the month compared to the same month last year after rising during a few weeks in June. Though an improvement compared to June’s 4 percent drop, there is no indication that demand has rebounded in Asia. However, rationalization of polyester supply in China has kept prices from dropping further. Polyester prices are being pressured by falling cotton prices and a lack of strength in mill demand.

Asian nylon (polyamide) prices rose in the month due a 7.2% surge in the price of caprolactam, a key ingredient for nylon.

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 2.4%, the only regional increase, pushing European synthetic prices almost 24 percent above the world average.

The U.S. index fell negligibly, putting the U.S. synthetic fiber prices index at almost 46 percent above the global average.