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Yarn Market
J. Karl Rudy, Technical Editor

Yarn Sales Become Volume Oriented

By J. Karl Rudy, Technical Editor

T he activity level in our markets is very high," said another. He added, "It is especially good in plied and ring-spun yarns."

This sort of comment is not unusual today. Most spinners are running full —whatever "full" means to that particular spinner. Some companies operate on a full seven-day basis while others run five or six, and for them, that is full.

To give you an idea of just how active, a spinner of open-end yarns observed: "Even open-end yarn has picked up — of course, this is the time of year for it."

While spinners are happy about the volume of business, they continue to be plagued by depressed yarn prices. With the cost of raw cotton again increasing along with the higher costs of ancillary items such as transportation, cones, boxes, etc., spinners have a right to be deeply concerned. One spinner said, "It’s hard to get prices up even though costs for everything else are higher."

On the subject of pricing, yet another spinner said of his organization: "We don’t cut prices to sell yarns. We work to develop new markets."

One spinner said: "The textile industry is rapidly becoming a volume-oriented business. Eventually our present markets will shrink even further and cause everything to move south. This is why we have to work on getting our exports up. That’s the future of domestic spinners — export trade."

Markets And Exports

This same spinner, commenting on open markets, said: "Markets are supposedly open but they are not really." He was referring, of course, to the fact that many of our trading partners will not allow domestic items to be imported. Another facet to trading quotas is the manner in which trading partners use subversive methods to get their products into domestic markets, i.e. an item purchased supposedly made in Mexico, but when opened, an imprint said "Made in China."

Much has been said about contracts, specifically the length of them. Quoting the opinion of a respondent this month: "The (textile) industry must become less production driven and more customer and market driven if we want to stay in business. Customers this day and time prefer short contracts and more textile producers are coming to realize that this is to their advantage as well."

Several months ago, the Yarn Market mentioned the tendency for customers with contracts to break them without fear of litigation. Some spinners are actually discouraging long-term contracts simply because there is less opportunity for the customer to break the contract. Obviously, a customer with a good reputation in business dealings will get a contract for as long as he wants it.

A spinner, who sells to weavers, commented: "Denim has picked up for ring-spun yarn, but it is not just denim. Overall the market is moving incrementally to ring-spun yarns."

Apparently customer desire for strength and improved quality over rides the difference in pricing. Virtually all yarn spinners report that ring-spun yarns are doing well. Business is active, and sold-up positions are excellent. This condition holds true for carded and combed cotton yarns. Markets for "character" yarns (flake, slub, nub, etc.) are strong as well. Spinners with air-jet spinning report improved market conditions.

There's Always A But

But — "We need higher prices to stay in business! However, quality and service are most important to our customers," said one yarn producer. He added, "And we pride ourselves on the quality of our service." That’s the name of the game, and this spinner knows how to play it and get repeat business because of it.

Mom And Pop Scared

You know you are in trouble when you see imported yarn being sold in a small business catering to sales of yarns for crafts. To think we have enough imported yarn coming in that it would be sold as an odd lot is scary to those in this business. But we are not the only ones scared. The owner of the shop was most concerned about all of her sources moving out of the country. "What am I going to do to stay in business and make a living?" That was her question. Who can give her an answer?


ymmay_1042

May 2000




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