Fiber Production Sets Record In 2004

A preliminary report released by Saurer Management AG, Switzerland, indicates 2004 fiber
production totaled a record 67+ million metric tons a 6.7-percent increase over 2003 output. Of
this total, man-made fiber production represents 56 percent, or 37.9 million metric tons. Cotton,
wool and silk together represent 36 percent, or 24.1 million metric tons.

Polyester (PES) output led the growth in man-made fibers, increasing by 9.7 percent to 24.5
million metric tons. Cellulosics output rose by 8.1 percent to 3.2 million metric tons. Polyamide
(PA) yarn production was up by 5.3 percent; staple fiber output was unchanged at 0.5 million metric
tons. Polypropylene (PP) output rose by 2.7 percent to 3.1 million metric tons. Acrylic (PAN) fiber
output was up 1 percent to 2.7 million metric tons.

Much of the increased production is attributed to China which grew its PES staple fiber output
by 21 percent and filament output by 22 percent, contributed to an 11-percent rise in Asian PA
production, and increased its PAN production by 5 percent. The United States registered increases
of 0.9 percent in staple polyester fiber, and in industrial and carpet PA yarn output 9 percent and
5 percent, respectively; while showing decreases in textile PA yarn output. Western European PA
production also showed gains in industrial and carpet yarns 5 percent and 10+ percent, respectively
and declines in textile yarns. The region also grew its PP production by 8 percent, while seeing
declines of 6 percent in PES filament and 1 percent in PAN output.

Turkish output increased by 10 percent in the PES filament and PAN sectors. Brazil and Mexico
also registered increases in PES filament production, while Korea lost ground in that sector. In
PES staple, India saw a 10-percent gain and Mexico experienced a significant decline.

March 2005