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Global trends in fibre prices, production and consumption, Setember 2009
published in Issue 141, September 2009
Reflecting the global economic downturn, world fibre production fell by 5.3% in 2008 after rising by 5.8% in 2007. The decline was due mainly to a 6.8% fall in natural fibre production. Man-made fibre output was also down, by 4.2%, but the fall was cushioned by a small amount of growth in China. The decline in man-made fibres stemmed from decreases in synthetic fibres as well as cellulosic fibres, although the fall in synthetics was less marked. Declines were evident in all the main fibre types but polyester was the least affected. As a result of these developments, the share of natural fibres fell for the second consecutive year to 39.7%. The main cause of the fall was a 7.2% decline in cotton demand. Wool consumption actually increased, albeit by a mere 0.6%.
The cotton price fell to a trough of 52 cents/lb in March 2009 but, with signs of economic recovery starting to appear, it climbed back to reach 63 cents/lb by September 3, 2009. For the 2008/09 crop year as a whole (August 1, 2008-July 31, 2009), however, the average price was only 61 cents/lb—some 16.3% lower than in the previous year. Furthermore, there is little prospect of any further significant price increase for 2009/10 as concerns remain over the strength of demand. Nonetheless, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has predicted that demand will rise by 2.2% in 2009/10—in contrast to the 12.7% drop recorded for 2008/09—and this suggests that the worst may be over. Stocks are likely to fall as output is expected to be maintained while demand increases. However, the fall will be small and therefore it is unlikely to lead to any strong upward pressure on prices.
Wool prices have also fallen dramatically, due to concern over future demand levels. Stocks have fallen too but the stock position is not a cause for concern. Global demand for wool fibre is being sustained largely by consumption in China. Elsewhere, it is being depressed by the restructuring of the textile industries in industrialised countries. Prices are therefore expected to firm slightly, at best, in 2009/10. Demand will be marginally in excess of supply in 2009/10, leading to a further slight fall in stock levels.
- Global Trends in Fibre Prices, Production and Consumption
- General Trends
- Man-Made Fibres
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