14 March 2016
Flax fiber and linen yarn prices have declined in 2015, partly due to the fall of the euro having resulted in lower flax import prices in China. Although linen yarn and fabric exports have further increased, the development of the China's linen industry is slowing down. Our report offers a comprehensive view of the international market prices, including China's flax fiber import prices and linen yarn and fabric export prices. China's import and export data in volume and value terms are also available for download on a monthly basis back to December 2012.
Flax fiber prices have declined in US$ terms in the 12 months of 2015, whereas significantly rising in euro terms.
Both EU export data and China import data confirm that US$ prices have fallen on average in the last year, amid monthly variations.
Average export prices from EU members for instance surged to $2.69 per kilo in December, however far above average 2015 level at $2.44, down 8.8% from the previous year.
By contrast, euro prices have surged 9% in 2015 at $2.2 per kilo.
On China's import market, flax prices have also dropped 8.8% in dollar terms.
Flax production has stagnated in the EU in 2015-16 if only considering long fibers which are used in production of linen yarns.
Sales have jumped by 11% in euro terms, thanks to the fall of the currency whereas prices were rising 13% in euro terms at 248 euros per quintal.
Flax fibers are mostly produced in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and exported to China where they are processed into yarns, fabrics and apparel.
China's linen yarn export prices have declined 2.7% on average in 2015 whereas fabric export prices have lost 2%.
Flax imports have gained 10.5% in volume terms, with yarn exports rising 6%.
The development of the China's linen textile industry is relatively slow in the current period, in line with the lower economic growth in China.
China's linen textile and apparel producers could try expanding domestic sales at retail in the coming years.