Market Morsel: No fibre is an island.

Fibre | 18th July 2023 | By Andrew Whitelaw

Market Morsel

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

The same can be said of fibres. No fibre is an island; they are part of the whole. On a regular basis, we compare the fibres, as it provides a quick outlook on the market structure across the major fibre types.

The chart below shows the following fibre types as an index, with 2015 being 100. The index’s value is that it allows the reader to quickly determine the rate of growth easily with pricing at different levels of magnitude.

  • Zhengzhou cotton futures
  • ICE cotton futures
  • Chinese polyester & acrylic
  • Eastern market indicator (wool)

The fibre complex has largely lost ground in recent years.  One of the factors we have been discussing over the past year is the potential of a  downturn in the economy. There are a number of headwinds at the moment, the energy crisis, increasing interest rates,  the invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of COVID.

Clothing purchases are often discretionary spending, and consumers tightening their belts causes potential demand destruction.

The charts below show the index of fibre prices, and the second chart shows the change year on year.


  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Fibre