Here’s the monthly update from Sofeast’s sourcing team who has been tracking the costs of commonly used raw materials from China since January 2021 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 that you see here do have an impact on your bottom line!
Here’s the up-to-date material cost data from China for you as of late March 2023 and the price evolution since Jan ’21. Note the monthly cost change, in particular:
This graph shows the cost evolution from early 2021 until the present day. You will notice the costs have stabilized over the past year.
In this next graph, we can see the individual material fluctuation in prices over the same period of time. We are looking at the minimum, maximum, and average for each of the materials based on a period between March 2021 and March 2023. You can clearly see that both silicone and battery lithium cobalt oxides have been affected the most during this period.
Here is what market analysts attribute these changes to:
Epoxy resin (epoxy refers to E-51) – decreased 6.14%
This month, the price of the raw material bisphenol A fell, while the price of another raw material, epichlorohydrin, fell. Cost support performance has been poor, and the resin industry’s attitude is generally negative. With a new order to increase profit enthusiasm. In terms of liquid epoxy resin, sporadic orders from large factories are acceptable, as are new offers and equipment sales, but most small and medium-sized factories are experiencing shipping delays. Profits become negotiable as a result of offers, and market trading focus is reduced. In terms of solid epoxy resin, most manufacturers are seeing lower orders, and lower shipment pressure, and manufacturers are not optimistic about the future market.
ABS (AG-15E1) – decreased 2.28%
Some ABS market prices fell in March. Crude oil, styrene, and other commodities remain stable, with little chance of change. Fundamental contradictions have not abated, and the ABS mainstream market remains weak. The volume pressure on primary traders and middlemen is increasing, and traders’ confidence is declining. In the short term, spot inventory is plentiful, market digestion is lower than expected, some ordinary material sales resistance is temporary and difficult to overcome, and market prices may remain under pressure.
Silicone (110) – decreased 5.33%
The domestic 110 raw glue market is stable, but the market side of the news is weak. The price of the raw material DMC continued to fall in March, with the low price exceeding 16,000 yuan/ton. The price of raw rubber is still falling. This week, the downstream rubber market demand did not improve significantly, causing the raw rubber market to maintain a small amount of on-demand procurement mode. The raw rubber market overall shipment is not good, enterprise inventory growth is rapid, and the weak price volume exchange effect is not favorable, causing raw rubber enterprises to reduce production.
Zinc alloy (Zamak5) – decreased 2.44%
Futures prices rose, driving spot prices up, but the increase is limited, and spot price changed only a little. Market volatility is expected in the near future.
AL alloy (ADC 12) – decreased 2.87%
Suppliers continue to actively ship in the domestic spot market and aluminum prices continue to rise with increased trading activity. There is a large positive receipt of goods as aluminum prices continue to rise. Market trading gradually turned weak, downstream manufacturers received primarily on demand.
PVC (SG-3) – decreased 1.67%
The primary causes of the price decline are, on the one hand, poor macroeconomic performance, and the European and American banking crises remain unresolved, which is causing market concerns. Overall, commodities remain weak. On the other hand, the fundamentals are mediocre; the supply side has slightly reduced production, but to a limited extent; domestic demand is mediocre; exports are poor; and inventories are high year on year.
Paper for color boxes (157g) – increased 2.06%
First, while the paper mill’s offer is stable, the new order is generally followed. Second, the distributor link shipment is inadequate, resulting in a South China individual profit promotion phenomenon. Third, enthusiasm for printing factory procurement is limited, and social meeting orders are weak. Fourth, upstream pulp prices continue to fall, putting cost pressure on the industry.
Paper for cartons (AA 120G) – decreased 10.67%
First of all, some bases of large-scale paper mills lowered the factory price by 150 yuan/ton, which was the 7th round of adjustment in a month, and the market was pessimistic. Secondly, the raw material waste paper market basically maintained stability, the cost side stopped falling and stabilized, some paper mills worried about the increase in cost pressure, so the willingness to continue to reduce prices has weakened. Finally, the release of terminal orders is poor, downstream packaging factory orders are general, still cautious procurement.
Stainless steel (304/2B 0.04mm) – decreased 3.60%
With the steel price limit policy helping to stimulate some terminal and downstream orders, the overall cautious atmosphere of the market has slowed, allowing some of the market inventory to be digested. Market support has increased in demand.
Battery (Lithium cobalt oxides) – decreased 25.15%
Lithium salt terminal consumption is difficult to improve temporarily, the market replenishment is mostly for buyers placing small orders. With abundant spot supply, lithium carbonate market price is expected to still have room to fall.
In terms of cobalt and compounds, the terminal industry is under construction, the downstream replenishment intention is low, the supply side continues to yield limited space, and the short-term market is expected to maintain the interval stalemate.
Nickel salt, demand consumption is weak and nickel price is expected to continue to be weak into next week.
How to combat the 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.