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Global trends in fibre prices, production and consumption, April 2010
published in Issue 144, April 2010
World man-made fibre production picked up strongly in 2009, representing a significant improvement after the decline witnessed in the previous year. At 41.6 mn tons, output was up by 7.8% following a 6.5% drop in 2008. Not surprisingly, the rise in 2009 was sustained entirely by strong growth in China. Synthetic fibres accounted for most of the increase—and almost all of the rise in synthetic fibre output was due to growth in production of polyester. But cellulosic fibre production was also up, by a healthy 8.2%.
In contrast, output of natural fibres fell by 5.1% following a 9.6% drop in 2008. The fall in 2009 was caused by a 5.1% reduction in cotton output—after a 10.1% decline in 2008—as growers switched to alternative crops. There was also a further decline in the wool clip. As a result of these trends, the share of natural fibres in total fibre output fell from 39.1% to 36.1%. Meanwhile, the cotton price rose throughout 2009 to reach a peak of 86 cents/lb in March 2010.
Demand for cotton is predicted to climb higher in the 2009/10 season, due mainly to the recovery in global economic growth. Output, however, will be down by 5.2%, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). As a result, demand will outstrip supply, and this will cause some further upward pressure on prices. According to the ICAC, the cotton price will average 74 cents/lb in 2009/10— 13 cents/lb more than in 2008/09. Furthermore, it is likely to creep up further in the 2010/11 season.
Wool prices have also risen as a fall in the wool clip has caused some concern about supply. The stock position has tightened and, as a consequence, prices have been pushed up. However, global demand is being sustained largely by consumption in China. Elsewhere, demand is being depressed by restructuring in the textile industries of industrialised countries.
The outlook is for some firming of prices as stocks fall further. However, any strong upward pressure on price will be limited by the availability of man-made substitutes.
Table of Contents
Global Trends in Fibre Prices, Production and Consumption
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