The spandex market in China has been climbing for the last five months. As polyester and nylon prices have slipped, spandex prices have surged. Spandex demand from downstream markets has varied. Large weaving plants have built up sufficient raw material stocks. Small and medium plants are mainly purchasing raw materials on a need-to basis. In Xiaoshan and Shaoxing, some circular knitting plants have reduced operating rates after completing previous orders. In Guangdong, warp knitting plant operating rate stands around 70 per cent while in Fujian, lace knitting plant operating rate remains below 50 per cent.
Xinxiang Chemical Fiber has already started trial production of its second phase of the super-soft spandex project. Hyosung is expected to commence a 20,000 tons per annum project in March 2017.
As spandex capacity expansion continues in 2017, some players remain hesitant about market outlook. However, in the short term, spandex prices remain buoyant on the back of strong raw materials and low inventory. Currently, downstream plants are mainly running on previous stocks and fresh deals are rare. Besides, as polyester and nylon prices have been falling lately, downstream plants are hesitant about buying raw materials. Thus while spandex prices continue to rise trading volumes are gradually decreasing.