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End-user demand witnesses marginal improvement

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 Entering Aug, seasonal demand for polyester fiber shows tendency to improve based on the following aspects:

Orders for some non-conventional fabrics have started moving off, such as the new type water-jet elastic fabric including T400 elastic fabric and T8 stretch fabric in Shengze and popular warp knitting super-soft polar fleece in Haining. However, proportion of non-conventional fabric was small, while better orders injected hope into the market.

Conventional fabric occupies big market share, and sales also improve in some regions. For example, knitted dyeing plants in Xiaoshan and silk-like dyeing plants in Wujiang saw better business, and the run rate was ramped up. Some warp knitting plants in Haining, and water-jet plants producing Oxford fabric in Wujiang also reflected slightly better orders. However, orders for warp knitting flannel in Changshu, polyester taffeta, water jet polyester pongee and Shu Mei silk in Wujiang did not grow. Thus, sales of conventional fabric recovered slowly, and divergence was apparent on the market, needing time to wait.

As for mindset, downstream players present improving mindset in Aug compared with Jul when PFY price was largely stable and low. Participants do not hold much anticipation toward peak season but expect demand to slightly improve, not grasping the improvement strength and continuity. Thus, operating rate of downstream plants is basically rising stably. By Friday, operating rate of fabric mills and twisting units in Zhejiang and Jiangsu stayed at 75% and 83% respectively, up by 14% and 20% respectively compared with early-Aug and around 10% and 6% respectively lower than the yearly high.

Traditional peak season is approaching in Sep. Reflected by some fabric mills and dyeing plants, marginal improvement of end-user demand has been perceived. But impacted by weak overall demand and excessive capacity on downstream market, orders recover slowly and weakly. Demand is limited when overall market is sluggish and has been diversified. Capacity surplus of homogeneously conventional varieties is supposed to intensify, and descriptions meeting market demand remain the most popular goods in the future.

In view of polyester market, with slightly better downstream orders, run rate and mindset, supply and demand of polyester market is moderate now, and profit and O/R of polyester industry improve. Sound supply/demand fundamental is supposed to sustain for a period before end-Sep, but demand may weaken after the National Day holiday, especially in late-Oct, when domestic and external demand is anticipated to enter tail-out period; therefore, contradiction between polyester and downstream market may escalate again. The Spring Festival holiday is earlier this year (normally in Feb but in late-Jan this year), so downstream players’ running confidence may be affected in Q4 if finished goods inventory does not reduce strongly.

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