Asia Manufacturing Cost Drivers Report – 9/15

September mostly material prices in Asia continued a significant movements.


General Purpose Plastic resin prices were mostly favorable again in September except PET which moved up in price by 3.85% and HDPE was unchanged. Year-over-year, most prices are still significantly lower on average by over 17% with the exception of PET which is up in price by over 5%.

Engineering Grade Plastic prices were continued favorable trends in September except ABS & POM which were unchanged. Year-over-year price for all engineering resins are down in price on average by 9%, except ABS which is up slightly.

Rubber prices were also favorable again in September down on average by 2% with the exception of Tire Rubber which was unchanged in September. And all prices remain well below last year’s levels by 7%-19%.

Carbon Steel prices continued the strongly favorable trend in September, all prices down another 3% on average. Year over year prices saw significant movements which are down across the board by an average of 35%.

Most of Stainless Steel prices moved lower again in September, down by another 5% on average except 201 grade moved up by 4.38% and 410 grade which remained unchanged in September. Year-over-year, except 410 grade which is lower by over 14%, rest stainless steel prices were lower by 16% on average compared with one year ago.

Aluminum prices were more stable dropping only slightly about 1% down on average in September but year-over-year prices remain lower by 6%-18%.

In other metals, most prices trended favorably in September with Nickel & Zinc Alloy leading the pack down, especial Nickel which was down in price by over 25% after several months of up & down movements. Year-over-year, though, Brass, Copper & Nickel all remain well below last year’s levels by 20% on average, led by Nickel which is down over 36% in price. Wood prices bucking the remained unchanged trends, most prices were down favorable by 2% in September and year-over-year, except MDF which was still unchanged in September and year-over-year.

All Paper prices were flat in September. Year-over-year, the prices were mixed with Kraft & Gray Cardboard remain higher by about 3-6%, meanwhile Corrugated, White Cardboard & Art Paper are all lower by about 2% on average.

Textile fabric prices were remained stable in September, while year-over-year, they remain favorable lead by Cotton which is down in price by over 17% versus one year ago.

Most Ceramics Raw Materials prices were dived by 5% on average in September while Quartz price was moved up by 2.78% in September. Year over year, the same trends by monthly likewise, Feldspar, Kaolin & Alumina are down in price on average by over 6%, led by Alumina by over 14%, while Quartz is upby over 7%.

In Asian labor rates, the Thailand and Bangladesh labor rates were unchanged in September and year-over-year, while China Labor rates was stable in September but up over 10% versus one year ago.

Fuel & Power prices in China showed movement trends in September, which China Petroleum Price & China Diesel Oil were moved up in price by over 6%, and Natural Gas & LPG Gas were down by 3% on average in September. Year-over-year, all fuel prices are significantly lower in price by 37% onaverage.

Ocean Freight rates remained unchanged in September but year-over-year freight rates are up by over 7% to the west coast and 10% to the east coast.

Asian Currencies were slightly stronger against the US Dollar in September except the Taiwan New Dollars & Thailand Baht which were weaker by over 1.5%. Year-over-year, all Asian Currencies were weaker against the US Dollar by close to 6% on average.

As for PMI, the China Purchasing Managers Index moving up from 49.7 to 49.8(signaling a contracting economy) while the HK China Purchasing Managers Index moved down from 47.3 to 47.2 (signaling a contracting economy), and the USA Purchasing Managers Index likewise moved lower but stayed above the all-important 50 benchmark.

China Imports declined by 10% in August & 13% year-over-year while the China Exports rose by close to 1% in August and declined by over 5% for the year. (data lags by one month).

The China Producer Price Index (PPI) was down fractionally in August while the China Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose slightly, same trends as June. (data lags by one month).

For additional details, please refer to the charts that follow or contact one our Operations Specialists for more information.

Source Int’l Mfg Cost Drivers Report-September, 2015

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