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Supply Issues Drive September Synthetic Fiber Price Increases

Average synthetic fiber prices increased sharply in September, according to recent data from PCI Research. The global synthetic fiber price increased by 17.5% year over year, and by 5.8% over the prior month.

Contributors to the price increases included constraints on supply, a temporary spike in oil prices and disruption in intermediates product resulting from hurricanes, and continued China government crackdown on violations on environmental regulations.

Although oil prices have already settle down from their hurricane-related increase, delays in expansion of resin capacity in the U.S. (M&G project in Corpus Christi) and Europe (JBF Industries in Belgium) have caused concern over polyester supply in both the short and longer term.

In Asia, the largest manufacturing region for synthetic fibers, the price increase was felt most intensely. Prices increased in September by 24% year-over-year and 9.4% month-over-month. The biggest increase was in the polyester filament area. Nylon textile filament costs were similarly affected, though not as dramatically. Spandex, viscose and acrylic staple prices remained relatively stable. Asian synthetic fiber prices remain more than 20 percent below the global average.

In the U.S., prices rose by 6.9% compared to September of last year, and 3 percent from August. There has been no news on Invista’s attempt to sell its apparel fibers business. U.S. prices are 46% above the global average.

In Europe, prices rose by 18.2% year-over-year and 2 percent from last month. European fiber prices are almost 22 percent above the global average.