Ring-Spun Yarn Sales Fantastic

brief comment from a respondent involved in raw cotton markets will be encouraging to
spinners: “The cotton crop looks beautiful this year, even with the drought. A large crop is
anticipated and the quality is good. Prices, however, don’t look good.” In other words – bad
news for farmers, good news for spinners. As with just about everything in this business, it’s not
over ’til it’s over. So we’ll see how it looks a couple of months from now.

The markets for ring-spun yarns are causing exuberance, to say the least, among spinners. One
spinner said, “Ring-spun markets are fantastic in all counts and all market segments.” Another
whole-heartedly agreed saying, “Ring-spun markets are excellent – really tight!” Now, the
question is, how long will it be until everyone moves to these markets and saturates them as we
have done in the open-end (OE) markets?

Spinners of ring-spun yarns are confident that the market is strong enough to see an
improvement in pricing. A spinner commented, “We will start moving prices up – the market can
take it. We are running full, but are still far behind. We have no inventory, and we are booked
solid through the third quarter. I wish we could have run through the fourth.”

Several factors have contributed to the continued excellence of markets for ring-spun yarns,
according to spinners. As one said, “Denim is back. Docker twill is back.” As you know, both of
these markets use tremendous quantities of yarn.

Opportunities Abound

“Open-end yarns, however, give us many opportunities in outerwear, underwear and T-shirt
markets,” commented one such spinner. Despite the lackluster market conditions, most OE spinners
are running full and booking ahead. One spinner informed the Yarn Market that he was booked solid
for the rest of the year and was beginning to book first quarter 2001. He said, “Of course, we are
quoting higher prices for next year, but we will never see inflated prices again. All we want to do
is make a reasonable profit – something we haven’t done in several years.” He also said that
once they got through the current contracts, prices will probably improve.

Many spinners feel the OE markets will always be tough because no one is getting out of it.
Therefore, the oversupply of OE yarns will continue. “It’s funny,” said one spinner, “the spinners
who complain most loudly about pricing in the OE markets are the same ones who are selling low.” In
spite of it all, volume remains good for these markets.

Inventories are strictly controlled, according to virtually all spinners. As if to justify
more than their standard of two-week inventory, one spinner said, “Of course, when you run so many
products, you have to maintain a stock of your basic items.”

South Of The Border

The Yarn Market received some interesting comments from spinners concerning the Carribean and
Mexico. One spinner observed, “While spinners will probably benefit, those textiles which are
labor-intensive will move offshore.” Yet another spinner commented, “I think the CBI will be good
for us as long as it lasts, but a couple of large producers could eat up the quotas. Also, a
company must get positioned beforehand and be able to identify the players. The logistics could be
a problem, such as credit and freight. Those who capture the market will profit the most.” This
same spinner (discussing NAFTA) said, ” Those manufacturers already involved in Mexico are
beginning to question their position, feeling they must supply the local market rather than ship
the goods back to the USA.” Shipping costs are apparently part of the problem.

Weavers are having real problems with synthetic fabrics. As one weaver said, “It’s a struggle
every day.” In cotton and poly/cotton goods, volume is good, but margins are terrible. Doesn’t that
sound familiar to you spinners?

The Good Old Days

A spinner reminisced, “Way back yonder, we had peaks and valleys in our earnings report. Today,
it is all valleys. We need to climb a peak and start making a profit for a change. Seriously, I
think the future for spinners looks good, at least for the near future.” He was reminded that back
in the old days, we came out of the mills covered in so much lint that we never had a problem with
dry hair days. Who wants to go back to the good old days?


August 2000