Here’s the monthly update from Sofeast’s sourcing team, tracking the costs of commonly used raw materials from China for the past year to help you understand where the market is right now. If you or your supplier are purchasing materials from China for your products, the cost changes you see here impact your bottom line!

Here’s the up-to-date material cost data from China for you as of late March 2024 and the price evolution over the past twelve months – the good news here is we’re in a period of relative stability:

china raw material cost changes mar 23 to mar 24Here you can see the individual cost evolution per material over the past year, including the weekly and monthly change for March 2024:

raw materials cost evolution up to mar 24

Here is what our market analysts attribute these changes to during this past month:

Epoxy Resin (E-51) – Decrease of 3.30%

  • Supply: Certain factories are holding excessive spot inventories right now, leading to a surplus.
  • Demand: The buying trend is to use the raw materials that are already in stock, with the market mainly focusing on replenishing supplies.
  • Cost: Support has weakened due to a decrease in the negotiation price of bisphenol A, while the price of the raw material epichlorohydrin remains stable but minimal.

ABS AG-15E1 – Increase of 5.49%

Industry production is down, but ABS manufacturers are fulfilling previous orders and reducing their inventory which has peaked recently compared to recent years.

Silicone (110) – Increase of 5.08%

Domestic factories are shipping more products, and market prices have slightly dropped due to competitive bidding among enterprises. Downstream demand is weak, though, with only small on-demand orders being placed. Raw material costs like silicon metal are slightly decreasing, while methyl chloride prices are rebounding, leading to some price volatility.

Zinc Alloy (Zamak5) – Increase of 0.89%

Despite fluctuating zinc spot prices, market demand has been respectable. Lower zinc prices have encouraged downstream enterprises to buy more, improving market transactions and the trading atmosphere among traders.

AL Alloy ADC 12 – Increase of 1.23%

The domestic spot market is characterized by local manufacturers selling off stock, traders buying moderately, and downstream processing plants increasing their purchases, leading to a more active trading atmosphere.

PVC (SG-3) – Increase of 0.24%

The market price of PVC powder has slightly decreased, with futures showing a downward trend. Traders have lowered their price offers compared to recent times, resulting in fewer high-priced transactions. The mainstream price remains stable, with transactions focusing on specific prices. Downstream procurement shows moderate enthusiasm, with some low-price orders being placed out of necessity.

Paper for Color Box (157g) – Increase of 2.76%

  • Demand: The market is adopting a steady approach, with downstream buyers mainly just replenishing as needed, and only a few new orders coming in.
  • Cost: The cost side continues to support the market despite a slight decrease in the spot market price of imported wood pulp and some decreases in individual pulp prices.

Paper for Carton (AA120G) – Decrease of 4.36%

March 2024 saw the corrugated paper market in China impacted by weak demand and an excess of supply. This has increased pressure on paper mills and put downward pressure on prices. The main raw material, waste yellowboard paper, saw a decrease in purchase prices by paper mills to ease some of their operational pressure.

Stainless Steel (304/2B 0.4MM) – Increase of 0.26%

The stainless steel spot market has shown some stability with a weak futures market continuing. Profitable shipments from the spot market are unchanged, with some prices being reduced. However, buyers remain cautious, resulting in a fairly slow trading atmosphere.


How to combat rising costs?

Explore cost-reducing tips in this post: Rising Raw Material Prices: What Strategy To Follow? (6 Approaches).

What to do if your Chinese supplier suddenly tells you that material costs have risen: How To Cooperate With Your Chinese Supplier, Part 16: Bad News from China, Raw Material Prices Just Increased!

If your supplier just isn’t working out, maybe sourcing a new supplier will help you find one who can offer you better prices and more. If so, there’s no need to fear switching from your current supplier to a new one if you’re prepared: How To Switch To A Newer, Better Chinese Manufacturer? [eBook].


We hope this is helpful. Our mission at Sofeast is to help importers have transparency in their supply chain and to give them more control. And this information is critical to have some visibility into your manufacturer’s costing.

By the way, you can always contact us if you have any questions about whether a manufacturer’s quote is reasonable.

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