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Insight | Time: Apr 22 2020 2:46PM
When will acrylic fiber market rebound?
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Since 2020, the author has held the view that the cost pressure of acrylic fiber could be effectively improved with the significant production of ACN, and the market may embrace double harvest of production and benefit with the export sales market in the first half of the year. However, the foreign trade peak season was hit by the overseas epidemic outbreak. In the context of bleak order acceptance, even though raw material prices sharply have decreased by 4,750yuan/mt since the beginning of the year and acrylic fiber followed down, it was still difficult to improve the status quo of weak sales. Fortunately, China’s epidemic has been gradually stable and started to recover production, while small yarn mills were able to maintain outpour through accepting domestic orders. Large plants held a part of inventory and cut production or took a holiday.

In the sight of acrylic fiber operating rate, though run rate has been at above 80% since last year, it mostly fluctuated modestly at around 50-70%. However, the precipitous fall in April shocked people indeed. Under the background of export trade market, the phenomenon of cancelling orders or no orders hit not only acrylic fiber plants but the whole industrial chain. Firstly, Jilin Chemical Fiber shut down Qifeng Acrylic and Gaocheng’s acrylic fiber units for maintenance at the end of March. Then Ningbo Zhongxin shut down on April 7. Considering its circuitry reconstruction, the shutdown may last until after Labor Day. Due to poor sales, Hangzhou Bay Acrylic shut down on around April 10, and inventory was at around 3kt. The total capacity of shut-down units accounted for nearly 40% of China’s total capacity of 820kt/year, and the rest units ran at 50% or below, manifesting the tremendous impacts of weak demand of end-users brought by epidemic. For other fibers, spunlace staple fiber, nylon DTY140D/48F and spandex 70-140D were all in hot sales thanks to the high demand for masks.

It is not clear when the epidemic will end and whether there will be any hope of export orders. However, the author thinks that the market in the second quarter may be more challenging than that in the first quarter. Compared with the first quarter, the market in the second quarter is expected to lack the support from orders, so producers may be more confused. Market players who hold prudent attitude are likely to intend to reduce production and cut operating rate, and focus on sales of finished products. Nevertheless, though foreign trade is bleak at present, China’s epidemic is effectively controlled, in addition that partial provinces start to gradually encourage the 4.5-day working system and take measures such as issuing consumption vouchers in order to encourage consumption of end-users, so the rebound in China’s demand is anticipated to pull up a part of production recovery.
[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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