9 March 2016
Silk prices have bottomed out in the last months in China, after sharply declining in the last three years. Demand from foreign markets has been depressed in 2015, partly due to the crisis of the luxury market. Our quarterly report provides monthly average prices over the last three years for silk and cocoon on the domestic market, with in-depth analysis of latest and long-term trends. Export data are also now released for raw silk, silk yarns and silk apparel, including average export prices over the last 12 months. Most data are available for download.
Silk prices are no more falling in China.
After continuously tumbling in the last years, prices have apparently stabilized, even slightly rising since the beginning of the new year.
A pessimistic mood continues however to prevail on China's silk market due to a weakness in demand after holidays amid slowing down economic activities.
From a peak at about 420,000 yuan per metric ton in the first half of 2011, silk prices have declined to a floor at 283,000 yuan in September, before returning to below 300,000 yuan.
Prices have lost 7% in a year and 17.8% in two years, in yuan terms.
Demand from the global market has remained depressed in 2015, although less clearly falling than in 2013 and 2014.
In volume terms, shipments to foreign nations have fallen 3.2%, even losing 11.1% in dollar terms, after prices have further declined.
Average export prices were again dropping in January, averaging $43.66 per kilo, or down 12.2% from a year earlier.
By contrast, silk apparel exports have surged 31% in dollar terms in 2015.
The fall in demand for raw silk is structurally due to lower shipments to India, by far the largest buyer of silk in the world.
Although Indian imports have stabilized in 2015, they were down 66% from their level in 2008 in volume terms, dropping 21% in dollar terms in the meantime (see our series of below tables).
If China's exports to India have only lost 4.5% in last year, accounting for 33% of total, shipments to Italy have plunged by 14%, reflecting the crisis in the global luxury sector.
The Japanese market has also lost ground, losing 21% in dollar terms.