Most raw material prices and cost drivers associated with Asia manufacturing continued in October extending this year’s strongly favorable trend.

Specifically:

Almost all General Purpose Plastic resin prices moved favorable again in
October except PET which also moved up again in price by 3.7%.
Year-over-year, most prices are still significantly lower on average by over
23%, led by General Purpose PP which is down by over 34%. One notable
exception is PET which is up in price by over 9% year-over-year.

Most Engineering Grade Plastic prices continued to drop in price in October
by about 3% except ABS & POM were unchanged from September.
Year-over-year price for all engineering resins are down in price on average
by over 11%, except ABS which is up slightly (less than 1%).

Rubber prices also showed favorable movement in October down in price on
average by 6%. And all prices remain well below last year’s levels by
14%-27%.

Carbon Steel prices continued the strongly favorable trend in October, with
prices down another 3% on average. Year-over-year prices Carbon Steel is
significantly lower in price by 30%-40%.

Stainless Steel prices also moved lower again in October except 304 grade
which remained unchanged. Year-over-year Stainless Steel prices were lower
by 14% on average compared with one year ago, except 410 grade which bucks
the trend, up by over 12%.

Aluminum prices dropped by over 8% in October and year-over-year prices
remain lower by over 20% on average.

In other metals, October saw Zinc, Copper & Nickel reverse the recent
downward trend by shooting up close to 2% on average, while Brass dropped
slightly. Year-over-year, Brass, Copper & Nickel all remain well below last
year’s levels by 20% on average, while Zinc is up fractionally versus one
year ago.

Wood prices were unchanged in October, however, year-over-year, prices are
down on average by over 2.2% .

All Paper prices remained flat trends in October while year-over-year,
prices are mixed with Kraft & Gray Cardboard higher by about 3%-6%, while
Corrugated, White Cardboard & Art Paper are all lower by 1%-2%.

In Textile Fabrics only Cotton saw a change in price, down by a fraction in
October bringing its year-over-year price change to 10% lower. Most other
textile fabrics were unchanged in October and remain down in price by over
5% on average versus one year ago.

In Ceramics Raw Materials prices, only Alumina saw a change, down in price
by over 3%. Year over year, prices are mixed with Feldspar, Kaolin & Alumina
down in price on average by over 7%, while Quartz is up by over 7%.

Asian labor rates were stable in October, while, year-over-year, Thai and
Bangladesh rates are unchanged while China Labor rates are up over 10%
versus one year ago.

China Petroleum Price & China Diesel Oil prices were favorable in October
down in price by 5% on average, while Natural Gas was flat and LPG Gas was
up by a almost 3%.  Year-over-year, all fuel prices are significantly lower
in price by 33% on average.

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

Most Asian Currencies were slightly stronger against the US Dollar in
October except the Bangladesh Taka & Vietnam Dong. But year-over-year, all
Asian Currencies were weaker against the US Dollar by over 5% on average.

As for PMI, the China Purchasing Managers Index stayed at 49.8 again in
October while the HK China Purchasing Managers Index moved up slightly from
47.2 to 48.3 (signaling a contracting economy), meanwhile the USA Purchasing
Managers Index likewise moved lower slightly from 50.2 to 50.1 but stayed
above the all-important 50 benchmark.

China Imports & Exports rose by 6.3% & 4.4% respectively in September while
year-over-year, Imports and Exports declined by 20.5% & 3.8% respectively.
(data lags by one month).

The China Producer Price Index (PPI) was unchanged in September while the
China Consumer Price Index (CPI) was down by a fraction.
(data lags by one month).  For the year, the PPI is down by 4.2% while the
CPI is unchanged.

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-October, 2015

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