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 May 2024 and the price evolution over the past twelve months – we’ve seen zinc and aluminum metal alloys rising, as well as PVC. In contrast, other materials have remained stable or decreased a little:

china raw material cost evolution as of may 24Here you can see the individual cost evolution per material over the past year, including the weekly and monthly changes for May 2024 with costs in CNY:

raw material cost in rmb changes in china up to may 24

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

Epoxy Resin (E-51) – Increase of 0.54%

Epoxy resin prices are rising due to increased costs for raw materials like bisphenol A, while maintenance and inventory pressures affect supply. Demand has seen fluctuations, with market confidence weakening toward the weekend.

Raw Material Trends:

  • Bisphenol A negotiation focus is rising.
  • Epichlorohydrin prices remain weak.

Cost Support:

  • Overall cost support for resin is gradually strengthening.
  • New offers from resin factories are increasing due to higher costs.


  • Sporadic maintenance at Shandong resin factories.
  • Reduced operational load due to inventory pressure.
  • Spot supply on-site remains stable.


  • Rising bisphenol A prices are attracting downstream resin buyers.
  • Market buying improved from last week.
  • Buying interest weakened with new producer offers.
  • High-priced transactions near the weekend were poor.
  • Downstream market confidence is insufficient, leading to cautious purchasing.

ABS AG-15E1 – Decrease of 3.26%

ABS prices experienced an initial rise followed by a decline, influenced by fluctuating raw material costs and cautious market sentiment. Supply increased slightly, while downstream demand weakened.

Price Trends:

  • Prices rose initially, then fell.
  • Early week: Improved macro expectations boosted prices.
  • Mid to late week: Weaker fundamentals, stronger expectations, falling costs, and increased risk aversion led to price declines.

Raw Material Trends:

  • Styrene prices rose then fell.
  • Acrylonitrile prices fell.
  • Butadiene prices rose.
  • Overall, costs lack unilateral drive.

Market Sentiment:

  • Cautious and wait-and-see attitude.

Supply and Demand:

  • Slight increase in manufacturers’ output and inventories.
  • Looser supply.
  • Decline in downstream restocking demand.
  • Weak spot negotiations and speculative demand.

Silicone (110) – Decrease of 5.46%

Silicone prices remain stable, with increased stock levels leading to lower purchasing enthusiasm. Large-capacity manufacturers maintain shipments at lower prices, while raw material costs provide general support.

Market Prices:

  • Stable domestic 110 raw rubber market prices.

Inventory and Demand:

  • Increased stock levels early and mid-week.
  • Downstream buyers focused on inventory digestion.

Manufacturer Strategies:

  • Small-capacity manufacturers maintain high prices due to pre-sale orders.
  • Large-capacity manufacturers focus on lower-end transactions.

Raw Material Costs:

  • Narrow fluctuations in DMC prices.

Zinc Alloy (Zamak5) – Increase of 9.09%

Reduced processing fees and steady downstream demand support zinc prices. Recent policies boosting property market demand in China also contribute to price stability.

Macroeconomic Factors:

  • Policies reducing loan interest rates and down payment ratios.

Cost Trends:

  • Zinc concentrate processing fees fell below 3,000 yuan per metal ton.
  • Significant smelter losses.


  • Steady downstream galvanizing activity.
  • Stable orders from zinc oxide enterprises.

AL Alloy ADC 12 – Increase of 0.93%

Aluminum prices initially rose due to favorable domestic policies and concerns over supply disruptions but later stabilized. Differentiated demand and steady supply contributed to the overall market trend.

Macroeconomic Factors:

  • Domestic real estate policies promoted consumption.
  • Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance weakened market sentiment.

Supply Concerns:

  • Supply issues at two aluminum oxide plants in Australia.
  • Natural gas supply concerns led to a temporary spike in alumina futures.

Market Fundamentals:

  • Stable domestic supply and narrow inventory.
  • Weaker purchasing capacity for high-price aluminum among small and medium-sized factories.

PVC (SG-3) – Increase of 7.95%

PVC prices increased due to government bond issuance boosting market confidence and reduced production rates at PVC powder enterprises. Downstream buyers focused on low-cost purchases.

Price Trends:

  • PVC powder futures and spot prices rose.

Government Policies:

  • Issuance of trillion yuan government bonds.
    Specific bonds were issued on May 17 and May 24.


  • Increased maintenance at PVC powder production enterprises.
  • Reduced operating rates.


  • Focus on low-cost purchases.
  • Insufficient spot transactions.

Paper for Color Box (157g) – Decrease of 3.32%

Paper prices are influenced by dealers’ efforts to increase volume and high raw material costs, leading to a slower decline in prices. Overall demand remains flat with slight increases in local trading.

Price Factors:

  • Dealers’ strong desire to increase volume.
  • Lack of significant increase in social orders.
  • Slow overall trading volume.

Raw Material Costs:

  • High upstream pulp prices.

Paper for Carton (AA120G) – Decrease of 2.03%

Prices for corrugated and box board paper remain stable with slight adjustments. Increased supply of waste yellow board paper led to lower purchase intentions from paper mills.

Price Adjustments:

  • Stable prices with slight adjustments of 30 yuan/ton.

Market Factors:

  • Reduced factory offers at Dongguan base.
  • Cautious downstream packaging factories.

Raw Material Prices:

  • Average market price of waste yellow board paper fell to 1428 yuan/ton.
  • Oversupply at paper mills led to reduced purchase intentions.
  • Rising prices for recycled fiber pulp in Southeast Asia.

Stainless Steel (304/2B 0.4MM) – Increase of 0.16%

Stainless steel prices rose initially due to futures market trends but saw limited adjustment due to cautious market sentiment. Despite increased inquiry prices, the market remains hesitant about price adjustments.

Market Trends:

  • Rising futures prices improved market sentiment for finished stainless steel.

Market Sentiment:

  • Strong wait-and-see attitude due to unchanged receiving prices from major steel mills.
  • Increased market hesitation despite higher inquiry prices.

Lithium-Ion Batteries – No change


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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2 responses to “Plastic, Silicone, Steel, and Others: Updated China Raw Materials Costs (late May ’24)”

  1. Matthew Graham says:

    Hi. I am interested in gaining access to this raw material price tracker, would it be made available or circulated for a fee? If so, please provide details. Thanks.

    • Adrian Leighton says:

      Hi Matthew, thanks for your message. We only publish the material costs monthly in blog form in the final week of each month at this time. If you subscribe to our newsletter you will receive a monthly email including that post. The signup form is on the right-hand side of our blog page:

      If you are interested in getting costings for certain materials, our supply chain management team and market analysts in China are able to do research for you based on your needs. I assume if it’s the works you’re interested in materials like crafting supplies, paper, and card, for instance. We can advise you on how we can assist, so if you’d like to discuss your requirements with us, please get in touch by replying here or filling the contact form:

      Thanks for reading!

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