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Insight | Time: Aug 6 2020 2:30PM
Spandex demand marginally improves and market forecast
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Demand for spandex marginally improved since the second half of Jul. Foreign orders from Europe, Japan and South Korea restored, and urgent orders from US appeared as some products were sold out in shopping mall. Local demand for fabric was stable and robust. Sales of spandex were supported by moderate domestic and foreign demand recently. Some dealers restocked spandex under low price in expectation of traditional peak season. As a result, sales of spandex apparently improved.

Circular knitting plants witnessed better business in recent 2 months, reversing the sluggishness in Jan-May. Operating rate of circular knitting plants in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong ascended to 30-50% or above in early-Aug from 30-40% in early-Jul, and plants focused on producing healthy fabric, rib fabric and thermal fabric, with rising content of bare spandex. That meant obviously better rigid demand for spandex.

Demand for spandex from covered yarn and warp knitting plants was robust, with operating rate of plants mainly around 40-60% since Jul. Run rare of some small and medium-sized covered yarn units and warp knitting plants slightly ascended.

Operating rate of covered yarn plants moved up since mid-Jul, mainly around 50-60% or above. Core-spun yarn plants increased production of thick fabric in Zhangjiagang. Local demand for spandex such as 70D improved. In Zhuji and Yiwu, plants mainly produced nylon/spandex conventional covered yarn such as 4070 and 7070. Demand for covered yarn for socks, underwear and woven menswear slightly grew from late-Jul. Operating rate of conventional covered yarn also ascended. Operating rate of air covered yarn rose slowly in Jul in Xiaoshan, Shaoxing and Shengze amid heat weather and mounting stocks earlier, mainly around 60%. Production of air covered yarn for woven apparel was moderate.

Operating rate of warp knitting plants was mainly around 50-60% since H2 Jul. Run rate in Chaoshao where plants concentrated on local sales was higher than that in Pearl River Delta where manufacturers focused on foreign trade. Plants in Chaoshan turned to produce thick fabric from light one, mainly running at around 50% of capacity. In Haining, operating rate of warp knitting plants was near 60%, while run rate of super soft fabric and warp-knitted velvet ascended to around 50-60%. Operating rate of high-end warp knitting plants was above 70%. Operating rate of lace knitting plants in Fujian was below 30%, restoring slowly on insufficient orders.

As for the application of spandex in other sectors, the production of diaper is during traditional slack season in Jul-Aug. Operating rate of braid in Guangdong climbed up, mainly producing shoulder straps of underwear. Some bare spandex was used to produce the ear band of N95 mask and disposable mask.

As for market outlook, some winter orders are placed ahead of schedule, and the pandemic still has uncertainty worldwide. Demand gap is likely to emerge at the end of Q4. Downstream market faces hidden danger in the second half of 2020. For example, fabric mills and apparel companies witness high stocks, and inventory of grey fabric is high, occupying capital. Spandex companies may face difficulty in recouping capital, and it will take longer time to collect payment. Many spring products had stocks affected by the pandemic, and some textile and apparel enterprises are anticipated to cut price to lower stocks, which may inhibit status during the traditional peak season (Sep-Oct).

Production of fabric is likely to turn better in Aug with rising orders for winter goods and gradually restoring external demand. Thus, demand for spandex may grow stably. Some spandex enterprises are active in preparing for the traditional peak season. Supply of spandex is anticipated to apparently accumulate on the month in Aug as partial medium-to-large enterprises have ramped up run rate. The average operating rate of spandex market is expected to rise to above 80% in Aug. Buyers may mainly purchase spandex on a need-to-basis in Aug, and some customers are likely to restock under low price. Undercutting may be common for varieties with high stocks when supply is still in surplus to demand on spandex market. Discounts are supposed to be available for customers with ample capital. Price of some tight descriptions and coarse denier may be flat.
[RISK DISCLAIMER] All opinions, news, analysis, prices or other information contained on this report is provided by analyst of Zhejiang Huarui Information Consulting Co., Ltd (CCFGroup) as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. CCFGroup will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.
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