Manufacturing Cost Drivers Report For Q4 2020

The commodity price trends in the fourth quarter were increased in Asia. Most of grades were increased in Plastic, Rubber, Steel, Alum, Metals, Paper, Fuel and Freight. Only Currency was down in price in this quarter, US Dollar was down 3.27% of the CNY then last quarter. Textiles, Ceramic and Labor were mostly flat in price. The trend for World Container Index was increased in Q4 by 54.9%. Both China imports and exports were increased. The China CPI was down 1.47% in Q4. The China PMI indexes were kept flat in Q4, the US PMI was up 9.57% in Q4. Below is a chart of the general trends and for all the details, please see the entire report.

Manufacturing Cost Drivers


– Most General plastic prices were down in Dec., especially PS (688B) was down 19.09%. Year over year, most of general plastic prices were up on average of 9.21%, PE(LD400) was up 45.57%, Chi Mei PH88 was up 33.33%, PVC(S700) was up 13.7% than last year.

Genral Plastic

-Generally, the engineering plastic prices were most up in the Fourth quarter. ABS (PA-757K) increased 27.08%, and down 7.58% in Dec. Nylon (PA66) was up 5.12%, POM (FM090500P) was up 0.42%, PC (L-1250Y) was up 5.5%. PU Foam (Density<30) kept flatly. PA6 (1013B) was down 2.11%. Year over year, ABS (PA-757K) increased 40.77%, however, Nylon (PA66) decreased 12.88%. Engineering Plastic

– Most of the Rubber prices were increased in Q4, Polybutadiene Rubber (BR9000) was up 20.69%, Natural Rubber (SCR5) increased greatly by 9.02%, EPDM Rubber was up 20.98%. Year over year, Polybutadiene Rubber (BR9000) was down 5.41%. However Natural Rubber (SCR5) and EPDM Rubber were up by 9.47% and 18.49%.



– For the fourth quarter of 2020, the prices for most of Carbon Steel were up. Cold Roll Steel Sheet was up 24.03%, Hot Rolled Steel Plate increased 20.9%, and Steel Wire was up 11.86%. Pig Iron was up 23.73%. Year over year, most of carbon steels in prices were up on the average 21.26% versus one year ago.


– In the Stainless Steel part, most of the grades of prices were up in the fourth quarter, with 430 increased 20.08%, 410 up 12.94%, 201 up 12.58%, 420 up 15.02%. 304 was down by 1.25%. Year over year, 430 up 17.5%, 410 up 21.52% 201 up 8.97%, 420 up 15.57% versus one year ago.

Stainless Steel

– The aluminum prices were up on the average of 11.21% in the fourth quarter. Year over year, all aluminum prices increase on the average 11.84% as well versus one year ago.


– In other Industrial Metals, the trend was up in Q4, average up 13.57%, Zinc Alloy increased 10.99%, Nickel increased 14.25%, Copper increased 14.77%, Brass Rod increased 18.05%. Year over year, the average up 16.46% versus one year ago.
Industrial Metal


– Wood prices were steady in Q4, however, the White Oak was up 4.75%.Year over year, MDF was down by 1.56% and Beech wood was down 2.17%, conversely, the White Oak was up 4.75% versus one year ago.


– Most of the prices of Paper Materials were up in Q4, Gray Cardboard was up 14.09%, Art Paper was up 12.73% and White Cardboard was up 11.41%. Kraft and Corrugated were kept steady. Year over year, Paper Materials were up by average 9.12% versus one year ago.

– Textile fabric prices were mostly unchanged in the fourth quarter, except Raw Cotton in price was up 14.63%. Meanwhile, year over year, Raw Cotton was up 13.04%, 100% Polyester Fabric was down 5.56% versus one year ago.

Textile Fabric


-In Ceramic and Glass Raw Materials, most of the materials were kept steady in Q4, However, Alumina was up 1.3% and Soda Ash obviously decreased 18.42%. Year over year, Alumina was down 4.10% and Soda Ash was down 6.06% respectively versus one year ago.
Ceramic Glass


Fuel prices in China were increased in this Q4, with Petroleum Price was up 63.95%, LGP gas was up 53.13% and Natural Gas prices was up 56.23%. However, year over year, the trend for the grades were down in prices on average 17.96% versus one year ago.


The World Container Index was up 54.86% in the fourth quarter. Year over year, the World Container Index was up 174% versus one year ago.


Most of the Asian labor rates were unchanged in Q4. Year over year, India, Indonesia and Vietnam were up 11.18%, 8.63% and 5.74% respectively.


For the fourth quarter, the USD was weakened against by average 2.1%, to against the CNY by 3.27%, against IDR 4.97% and THB 4.12%. Year over year, the USD was weakened against the CNY 6.54%, against TWD by 6.15%. The USD strengthened against INR 2.73%.

CHINA TRADE (Data lags by one month)

– China Imports was up 9.25%, and at the same time, China Exports was up 13.95% in the fourth quarter. Year over year, China Imports increased 5.26% and Exports increased 20.90% versus one year ago.

– The China Consumer Price Index (CPI) was down 1.47%. And China Producer Price Index (PPI) was up 1.74% in the fourth quarter. Year over year, the China CPI is down 4.11% and China PPI was up 0.1% versus one year ago.


The PMI China was up 0.78%, PMI Hong Kong was unchanged. PMI US was up obviously by 9.57% in Q4. Year over year, PMI China was up 3.39% and Hong Kong was up 2.91%, PMI US was up 28.6% versus one year ago.


Thank you for taking the time to follow trends in Asia manufacturing. Source International has operational offices in Louisville, Kentucky & Xiamen, China. Our passion is to partner with companies in supply management from Asia. We have a 27 year on-the-ground track record, a rigorous operating procedure, and a very well trained local staff. We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can add value to your supply chain in Asia and invite you to visit our offices and website to learn more about us.

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

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Data for this report comes from the sources listed and while every attempt is made to be as comprehensive and accurate as possible, please consider that these are just general trends and you should not draw any specific conclusions from the data. We recommend that any information provided in this report be weighed against other sources and experts on the individual topics covered and\, accordingly, we make no specific claims nor assume any liability from the use of the data contained herein.

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