On March 29, during Yarn Expo Spring 2023, Lianyungang LDZ New Aoshen Spandex Co., Ltd. launched two differentiated spandex products, temperature-sensitive shape memory spandex and deodorant spandex, at its own new product launch event. According to the manufacturer’s introduction, the elasticity of temperature-sensitive shape memory spandex can change with temperature, achieving characteristics of easy wear below the transition temperature and high resilience at or above the transition temperature; while deodorant spandex maintains water resistance while having the function of neutralizing and decomposing odor molecules.
In China’s total synthetic fiber output, spandex accounts for only 1-2%. It is usually used in the manufacturing of some elastic fabrics, especially sportswear and leisurewear. With the improvement of mass consumption, people’s requirements for fabrics have gradually increased. At present, China’s spandex industry has become quite mature, and the industry’s growth rate has been greater than 10% in recent years, especially the demand for differentiated and high-end spandex has grown significantly. As the main downstream product of PTMEG, spandex accounts for about 90% of PTMEG consumption. In recent years, the growth of the spandex industry has also driven the stable development of the PTMEG industry.
Recent Market Trends: Since the beginning of March, China’s spandex market has been showing a sustained mild weakness. The post-pandemic demand recovery was not strong as expected, and the national consumption sentiment in the textile industry was not high. The peak season for spandex was slightly shorter than in previous years, and prices fell slightly during the month. By the end of March, spandex manufacturers’ orders gradually decreased, and there were few summer orders obtained by them. Although the operating rate could still be maintained at around 80%, due to the inability of spandex to be stored for a long time, spandex manufacturers’ confidence declined, and their enthusiasm for purchasing feedstocks was difficult to sustain. Against this backdro, it has been difficult for PTMEG suppliers to continue supporting the market, and prices have fallen.
Market Outlook: Owing to the international political situation and economic conditions, some countries in the Middle East and South Asia are facing difficulties in approving letters of credit, and the strike wave in many European countries is affecting port operations. The pattern of weak overseas demand may be difficult to change in the short term. Chinese demand has rebounded visibly, but the speed of economic recovery is still unable to quickly boost the textile industry. Downstream manufacturers in the PTMEG-spandex industry chain mainly made replenishment purchases on rigid demand, and it is difficult to change the market weakness in the short term. However, in the long run, the textile industry is still one of the pillar industries in China’s economy. With the growth of the national economy, the demand for textile and its upstream feedstocks will continue to grow. Moreover, the emergence of differentiated spandex will expand the application fields from simple knitted fabrics to medical bandages, healthcare products, car interiors, artificial organ materials and many other areas, thus opening up broader market space. In the industry landscape with multiple growth points, there is still considerable room for growth in the spandex industry, which will drive the positive expectation for PTMEG consumption.