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Insight | Time:Dec 1 2017 2:33PM
Strange but true: China's rayon yarn imports increase in 2017
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Data show that rayon yarn's downstream sector was sluggish in China this year. However, the imports increased in the first 10 months compared with the same period of 2016. Then, let's have a brief analysis on China's rayon yarn imports in 2017.

1. Import volume grows
Rayon single yarn imports rose notably, reaching 3.4kt in Jan-Oct 2017, up 30.04% year-on-year. The import value totals $13.58 million, up 44.52% on annual basis. From the chart below, we can see that the increases were obvious, especially in Jan and Aug. In January, the imports surged year-on-year, as domestic rayon yarn market extended the uptrend since the end of 2016. Large amount of imported rayon yarn was needed to sate the appetite for feedstock and balance the supply-demand situation. In Aug, rayon yarn market was spurred by higher VSF price. On the other hand, the imports remained high in the latter half year, as China’s yuan appreciated agsinst US dollar and importing products were relatively cheaper.

2. Importing price increases

From the chart above, the importing price ticked up slightly in 2017, averaging at $4/kg in the first 10 months, compared to $3.69/kg in the same period of 2016. As a matter of fact, domestic rayon yarn market was lukewarm, and demand and order was lackluster in 2017. In addition, domestic yuan price saw a whopping drop in Oct. Under this circumstance, importing price should be lower than that in 2016. However, the fact was that the price was driven up by yuan's appreciation, as the price hike was offset when it was converted into yuan price. In Nov, importing price is expected to pull back.

3. Imports by destination

In terms of destination, Guangdong and Jiangsu Provinces received most rayon yarn imports. About 1.366kt or 40% of entire imports was imported to Guangdong (including 1.06 to Guangzhou City), and 1.222kt or 36% to Jiangsu (including 0.8365kt to Kunshan City) in the first 10 months of 2017. The imports to Guangzhou City grew a significant 161.2% on annual basis, and that to other cities in Guangdong and Jiangsu Provinces, including Kunshan, Shenzhen, Changzhou, Jiangmen also logged noticeable growth. On the contrary, Guangdong's Huizhou and Nansha were crowded out from the top 10 destinations.

4. Imports in terms of origin
Southeast Asia was the largest origin of China's rayon yarn imports. Vietnam came the first, exporting 2.019kt of rayon yarn to China in the first 10 months of 2017, up 79% year-on-year. About 0.583kt was imported from Indonesia, down 35% on annual basis.

In a conclusion, China's rayon yarn imports increased in 2017, which was spurred by low domestic inventory in the first half year and yuan's appreciation in the latter half. The total volume is estimated to reach 4.4kt throughout the year, with further growth subdued by bearish market and sluggish demand. The importing price is expected to drop in the last two months, as domestic yuan rayon yarn price is reduced notably which could offset the support from yuan's appreciation.
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