Posts tagged ‘Oil Prices’
For years, the primary indicator of polyester fiber or filament cost was the fluctuation in petroleum prices. If the price of a barrel of oil increased, so did the price per pound of the base synthetic ingredient: polyester staple fiber (PSF).
“This last eight months has been different,” says Alasdair Carmichael, president of the Americas division of the U.K.-based PCI Fibres. “Oil has been increasing, but the rate of increase at the fiber level has been greater than the increase at the oil level.” A new factor has come into play in the past year, and it’s surprised industry watchers. The price increases this year are demand-driven, Carmichael says, and the additional demand is due, in large part, to a shortage of cotton.
The Canadian economy finished 2010 on a stronger footing than expected, but economists continue to remain on alert, hoping a firm global economic recovery will take hold before the next crisis hits. Threats from black swan events, such as the BP oil spill that threatened to derail the world’s largest economy last year, can never be predicted — which is just as well. After all, when it comes to what could happen in 2011, there are already enough major risks on the radar to keep central bankers up at night. Canadian Business ranks the “biggies” here.
The economic climate is still recovering, yet retail trends seem to be rolling along in step with the changing seasons. But what is really going on in the retail industry? Fibre prices are escalating and the front of house is trying to retain its steady compusure while the back of house is scrambling to make production ends meet.
“Once these higher fibre prices filter through the supply chain, it’s going to be painful,” said Gary Raines, vice president of economics and analysis with FCStone Fibers & Textiles. “Who’s going to crack first? Will consumers willingly pay higher year-over-year prices for apparel? I’m not sure. 2011 is shaping up to be unlike any year we’ve seen. There is a major disjoint between retail trends and what’s happening on the fibre side.” – WWD.com
Both synthetics and cotton will soon be out of the question if prices continue to rise at such a dramatic rate. Iti’s now time that farmers, designers and manufacturers begin to look for economically vialable alternatives.
Our own fibre, CRAiLAR® Flax is soft like cotton, has a similar color, possesses similar performance traits and is cool and comfortable to wear year-round. CRAiLAR® Flax and cotton look the same, fit the same and wash the same. Still, CRAiLAR® Flax fibres shrink less than cotton fibres do, wick moisture better, and have increased dye uptake meaning they take less chemicals to reach the same color levels.
With cotton prices currently well over a dollar per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw material for fibre
production. We estimate that we will be able to provide CRAiLAR® Flax at approximately $0.90 per
pound making it an economically viable complement to cotton.
The revolutionary all-natural CRAiLAR® process is non-polluting and consumes a lot less energy and
water than it takes to produce other natural fibers. While CRAiLAR® Organic Fibres are strong and
durable like petroleum-based synthetics, they’re made from earth-friendly flax or hemp. The processing
chemicals used within the CRAiLAR® process have been approved for use as textile auxiliary agents
according to the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). GOTS approved inputs are screened for
prohibited toxic chemicals such as aromatic solvents, heavy metals or fluorocarbons as well as
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). All substances must also comply with strict toxicity and