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Spandex: The demand for masks is heating up, and the spandex industry is seeking new development

[Introduction] In recent years, the demand for masks in my country has been relatively stable, and the overall supply and demand are in balance. In the early days of the epidemic i…

[Introduction] In recent years, the demand for masks in my country has been relatively stable, and the overall supply and demand are in balance. In the early days of the epidemic in April 2020, panic buying of masks led to a large short-term gap in the market. The volume and price of spandex and nylon for mask ear straps increased, and the supply exceeded demand on the market, and prices soared. Now three years into the fight against the epidemic, with the relaxation of domestic epidemic control policies, people’s demand for masks has once again heated up, and N95 masks have once again been out of stock. Recently, industry players are concerned about whether masks can drive a wave of market demand, and the new year is approaching and the policies are warming. Under the influence of wind, the coarse-denier spandex products used as the raw materials of masks will be different but still not easy.

Data source: Baidu

my country is a big country in the mask industry, producing about 50% of the world’s masks. Since the beginning of 2020, with the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, medical masks and other medical protective equipment have been in short supply. The world was once faced with a situation where mask production capacity was insufficient and supply exceeded demand. Driven by factors such as policy support, daily production capacity and output have grown rapidly. With the rapid growth of daily production capacity and output, my country’s mask production capacity and output are rising rapidly. Data shows that mask production reached 10.1 billion pieces in 2020, with a year-on-year growth rate of 102%. In 2021, due to the effective control of the epidemic, market demand has declined and excess mask production capacity will face major adjustments. The overall output has declined, with a year-on-year growth rate of 6.93%, and the output is 9.4 billion pieces. Entering 2022, the COVID-19 epidemic has not gradually weakened as expected, but has continued to wreak havoc around the world with the emergence of the mutant strain Omicron. The chemical fiber textile market has been mostly affected by the epidemic, resulting in weak terminal demand. Now with the relaxation of epidemic policies, There is still a large demand for medical masks in my country.

Nylon and spandex are the main materials for mask ear straps, of which nylon accounts for up to 80%, and the rest is blended with spandex 70D and 140D. Spandex accounts for a lower proportion as auxiliary materials. However, the two raw materials are currently in sufficient supply, and there is no shortage of demand in early 2020. situation.

The specifications of mask ear straps are 3-7mm, with the majority of them being 3mm. One mask requires a 35cm long strap. The editor made a rough calculation. 1KG of nylon and stretch yarn can produce about 660 meters of mask ear straps. We will use one mask according to the specifications. Roughly calculating the length of the ear straps is 35 centimeters, then 1KG nylon yarn can produce about 1886 masks. Even during the peak period, the output is 400 million per day, and about 212 tons of elastic yarn can be used. In this conversion, the nylon elastic yarn for the ear straps of masks throughout the year The consumption is about 77,000 tons/year. At present, the annual nylon yarn consumption is less than 100,000 tons/year, and the national daily production of DTY70D ply yarn has exceeded 1,000 tons. The amount of nylon used in mask ear straps is in surplus.

Data source: Longzhong Information

Looking at spandex, mask ear straps generally use 0.3 grams of spandex raw material. Even if the daily output is still 300-400 million, the spandex consumption is about 100-120 tons. The national daily output of spandex 70D/140D is about 400-500 tons, and spandex Manufacturers can switch production and coarse denier production capacity can also be improved, so maintaining normal supply is not a problem. Today, the daily production of masks is less than 100 million pieces. Although the recent mask-driven products such as melt-blown fabrics, non-woven fabrics and ear straps have correspondingly driven up the prices of PP and polyester staple fibers, nylon and spandex are still a drop in the bucket.

But wearing masks may become a daily habit for more people in the future. The epidemic has brought huge changes to the mask industry. The short-term demand for spandex for mask ear straps can be maintained, but it is not enough to sustain it for a long time. The overall demand for downstream chemical fiber textiles of ordinary spandex (20D/30D/40D) is weak. The operating rate of spandex manufacturers has recently declined. The overall domestic operating rate has dropped to around 60%, with an average inventory of 35 days. The short-term spandex market is still not easy, and the “high temperature” of the spandex industry “The market has passed, but major leading companies are still optimistic about the future prospects of spandex. In the next five years, more than 1 million tons of new spandex production capacity may be put into production. The development of spandex is still in a high-speed period, benefiting from changes in consumer concepts and upgrading of consumer demand. The application scope and content of spandex in downstream textiles are constantly expanding. Spandex fiber has already moved from “monosodium glutamate” fiber to conventional fiber, and it has become a reality that no cloth can be made without ammonia. As leading enterprises continue to expand production, leading enterprises with scale advantages will occupy the market at lower costs, and the old production capacity of small enterprises will be eliminated. As the policy warm wind continues, the spandex industry in the post-epidemic era will Concentration will gradually increase.

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Author: clsrich