CBI Good For Synthetic Spinners

he first spinner responding to the Yarn Market this month commented that markets for his mill were
status quo — stabilized. He also said, “There is no room for price hikes in today’s market. We are
running full, but we have to if we want to stay in business.” He further stated that his company’s
home furnishings business remains strong in spite of seasonal slowing, and he expects the fourth
quarter to be “bullish.” One concern for folks in the home furnishings market is that with the
decrease in housing starts, demand for furnishings may decrease as well. Another concern is that
there has been added loomage in the production of home furnishings and, while not as “feverish” as
before, it is still significant. A third concern is, as stated by one spinner, “Cotton. It is
frighteningly close to moving upward in pricing.” We all know why this is of concern to spinners.

Record Cotton Crop Expected

Speaking to this concern, a respondent with expertise in this area said, “Even with the dry
weather, we are expecting a record crop. Cotton already harvested in Texas and the West is being
classed and looks pretty good. Because of the drought, there have been some losses in the South,
specifically South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, but overall, the harvest will be large.” So it
would seem, with a large expected harvest, prices are not apt to move significantly upward.

Textured Nylon Sock Business Outstanding

Textured nylon markets are reportedly slow, but this is the season for slowness. One
texturizer commented, “Markets will begin picking up as we move into the Fall. Prices will remain
stationary until raw-material pricing increases, and we don’t expect fiber producers to increase
their prices before the first quarter of 2001.

“Our sock business is outstanding and, while sheer (hosiery) business is not as good as we
would like to see it, the third quarter is looking better than the second. We made an inventory
adjustment then, and customers are beginning to buy again. Seamless hosiery markets for both micro
fibers and covered yarns are quite good.”

Weavers Say

A weaver, when asked about the condition of his markets, said, “I feel like a broken record —
markets for cotton and poly/cotton are reasonably good volume-wise, but margins are terrible. Sales
for non-cotton goods are at best day-to-day. There is no long-term business and there seems to be a
lack of interest on the part of our customers. It’s not like the ‘good old days’ when we
continually had long-term orders, repeat business and continuity in the planning of our

Customers are not disinterested in the markets – they are just afraid to buy for fear the
price will go down tomorrow. You can be sure prices are not likely to go up in this market.

A synthetic spinner who responded to the Yarn Market was, to date, the most enthusiastic
spinner overall concerning the CBI. He said, “This Caribbean thing will help us in several ways. It
will improve our sales of polyester yarns. Producers in Canada make polyester yarns cheaper because
the government subsidizes their product. With CBI requiring domestically produced yarns, Canadian
yarn cannot be sold for this program. Also, markets for children’s sleepwear are very slow. This
will improve with CBI. I am looking forward to it.”

Markets for synthetic yarns are, to put it mildly, quiet. Of course, this is the quiet
season, with April, May and June historically being the strongest quarter of the year. It is
interesting to note the second quarter of 2000 was better than the same period of 1999.

Some customers plan vacations for late July and August, accounting in part for the current
lack of demand. Others are “between orders,” according to this spinner. He mentioned that air-jet
and plied yarn markets were the strong areas for his products. Even so, operations at several mills
had to be curtailed about one day a week since the conventional July 4th holiday. However, as with
any curtailment, some mills continue to run a full operation.

For those readers who look at plied cotton yarn pricing, the lower price shown in the Yarn
Market price listing is for open-end yarn, while the higher price is carded ring-spun.