After more than a year of surge, spandex seems to be back to normal this year. Recently, major spandex companies have released their results for the first half of the year. Affected by the sharp return in prices and sluggish market demand, the profits of each company have generally declined. However, in recent years, with the changes in consumer concepts and the upgrading of consumer demand, the application range of spandex in downstream textiles has continued to expand, and the proportion of additions in fabrics has also increased significantly. Spandex fiber has moved from “textile monosodium glutamate” to routine. Many experts predict that the future will be It is “no cloth can be made without ammonia”. Under such a situation, how should the spandex industry develop next? “Textile and Apparel Weekly” specially interviews some experts and companies to show the current industry development and future directions.
Performance of leading companies generally declined
The outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic in 2020, the sharp increase in demand for anti-epidemic materials such as masks, and the expansion of spandex application fields have driven the demand for spandex. Coupled with the demand for bio-based materials PBAT and the support of rising BDO prices, the spandex industry market has changed from It started to rise in the fourth quarter of 2020 and continued until November 2021. Afterwards, as demand weakened, spandex capacity expanded, and market supply increased, the spandex industry’s high-prosperity cycle gradually shifted into an adjustment cycle, and the market price dropped sharply. Taking spandex 40D as an example, the ex-factory quotation in August was 36,000 yuan/ton, which was the same as the highest The market price is almost halved compared to the price.
Affected by multiple factors, in the first half of this year, the income of leading companies in the spandex industry has dropped significantly, and production and operations have also been affected to a certain extent. Huafon Chemical’s net profit fell by 37.81% in the first half of this year. Wang Jianbo, the company’s marketing director, told reporters that the continued decline in spandex prices has directly affected the purchasing mentality of downstream and terminal customers. Customers purchase on demand and dare not make inventory, resulting in continued decline in demand and inventory pressure. Turn to spandex manufacturers (industry inventory has increased from about 30 days to a maximum of about 50 days). In this case, some dealers and individual spandex companies actively sold goods in the early stage. At the same time, the decline in spandex prices has also been transmitted upward, causing raw material prices to fall rapidly, which has brought new challenges to raw material procurement strategies.
Taihe New Materials’ semi-annual report shows that the company’s operating income in the first half of 2022 was 1.952 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 8.19%; the net profit attributable to the parent company was 291 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 33.83%. The main products of Xinxiang Chemical Fiber are spandex and viscose filament. In the first half of this year, spandex achieved revenue of 2.448 billion yuan, accounting for 61.75% of total revenue, a year-on-year decrease of 12.59%; the gross profit margin was 10.06%, a year-on-year decrease of 30.91%.
In the future, “no fabric can be made without ammonia”, spandex has a bright future
Although the “high temperature” market in the spandex industry has passed, major leading companies are still optimistic about the future prospects of spandex. The private increase projects are proceeding as planned, and the entire industry still has plans to expand production. On September 6, Xinxiang Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd.’s 6,000-ton-annual recycled spandex project was successfully launched; on August 8, South Korea’s Taeguang Industrial’s 108,000-ton differentiated spandex project was officially launched in Ningxia; on June 12, Huafeng Chemical Co., Ltd. announced that the 100,000 tons/year differentiated spandex project invested and constructed by its holding subsidiary Huafeng Chongqing Spandex Co., Ltd. will be constructed in two phases; on May 20, Xinxiang Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd. announced that the planned increase in capital raised will not exceed 1.38 billion yuan for the third phase of the high-quality ultra-fine denier spandex fiber project with an annual output of 100,000 tons…
The belief supporting the launch of the spandex project comes from its future prospects. In the past, spandex was hailed as the “textile quality” in the industry. Today, more and more spandex is added to textiles. Relevant data shows that during the “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” period, the average amount of spandex added to textile fabrics has increased from 3% to 6% to 8%, and the spandex content of some high-end fabrics has exceeded 20%. Knitted products are the largest downstream application market of spandex. About 60% of spandex fibers are used in knitted products, such as elastic underwear, sportswear, swimwear, ski wear, seamless sports underwear, yoga wear, socks, etc. At the 2022 New Stage High-Quality Development Forum of the Spandex Industry held not long ago, Fang Guoping from Shanghai Palanduo Textile Technology Development Co., Ltd. said: “Spandex is a booster, accelerator, and elevator for the knitting industry. It raises the quality level of knitted products and improves what people wear.”
In addition to knitting and other fabric fields, the downstream applications of spandex have also expanded to the health and medical fields (bandages, band-aids, knee pads), automobiles and other fields in recent years. The continuous expansion of spandex application fields will also bring about an increase in demand for spandex. Relevant experts predict that the demand for spandex is expected to maintain a growth rate of 6%-8% in the next few years.
Differentiated development is a constant theme
In the future, with the release of production capacity of major projects, the spandex industry may enter a period of low profits. Li Zengjun, chief economist of the China Chemical Fiber Industry Association and executive vice president of the Spandex Branch, said in an interview: “No matter how the market situation changes, product innovation always comes first. Enterprises must find their own market positioning and develop differentiated products. . It is necessary to speed up the elimination of backward production capacity, upgrade equipment with high energy consumption and low efficiency, and let smart manufacturing drive the development of the industry. Innovation in equipment technology is the basis for product innovation, and we cannot be satisfied with small equipment.��Innovation. Ultimately, the future of the industry depends on innovation in raw materials and production technology, which is the key to maintaining long-term competitiveness. ”
Fang Guoping took the development path of knitted underwear as an example and said that underwear has experienced product upgrades such as basic underwear (without spandex), spandex underwear, functional underwear, etc. In the future, it will be possible to develop multi-functional underwear and smart underwear, which requires differentiation. Spandex helps underwear research and development.
Currently, with the continuous advancement of science and technology, many functional spandex are also emerging in the market. Lianyungang Duzhong Xinaoshen Spandex Co., Ltd. has developed graphene-modified spandex, which is super soft, liquid-dyed, dyeable, hygienic, colorful, low-temperature and easy-bonding spandex, as well as functional spandex products such as mosquito repellent and antibacterial. Huafeng Chemical has developed a variety of differentiated spandex products such as Millennium® recycled spandex, Millennium® high-elastic spandex, Millennium® antibacterial spandex, and Millennium® comfortable spandex, which are widely used in jeans, sweatshirts, underwear, In the fields of sports, yoga, swimwear and knitted sweaters, it has received unanimous praise from downstream users.
Regarding the future development of the spandex industry, Wang Jianbo said that intelligence and informatization are unavoidable “keywords” at present, and the spandex industry is no exception. The spandex industry should speed up its upgrading and transformation, and at the same time connect with downstream customers and end consumers through informatization. , segment the market, accurately position, and improve product competitiveness. At the same time, in the context of carbon neutrality and carbon peaking, sustainable development and green development are major trends. The spandex industry must eliminate backward production capacity and implement the concept of sustainable development into raw material procurement, production R&D design, product manufacturing, and product promotion. etc.
Huafeng Chemical’s new spandex projects in recent years have further optimized and innovated production equipment, process routes and energy solutions, which will provide further opportunities to improve product quality, reduce production costs, increase competitiveness and pursue sustainable development. the basic conditions. Xinxiang Chemical Fiber’s regenerated spandex project with an annual output of 6,000 tons is also an intelligent transformation and upgrade. It uses spandex waste silk and spandex polymerization waste liquid as raw materials to produce spandex products, adding new impetus to green and low-carbon development.