After three months of low single-digit increases, synthetic fiber prices were flat in September, impacted by sluggish demand.
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, edged up by a negligible .1% compared to September 2012.
In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region and therefore the pricing barometer, prices dropped by .8% compared to the same month last year, a reversal of the increases seen in June through August.
An unconfirmed report said the polyester filament yarn sector was operating at about 75% capacity due to a slowing in demand for filament fabrics and spun yarn.
Demand and pricing for nylon remains stable, though raw material costs, particularly those of caprolactam, have risen lately, which might put upward pressure on fiber prices.
Spandex prices are expected to continue rising due both to strong demand from the automotive sector and to spandex’s increased penetration of the ready-to-wear apparel market.
Acrylic yarn prices have been relatively flat for the past six months. Asian prices remain 19% below the world average.
The European index swung to a drop of 1.5% from last month’s 5.5% jump. European synthetic prices are about 20% above the world average.
The US index rose by 3.2%, the only region in which an increase occurred, and remains 43% above the world average.