Due to the corona crisis, fiber prices and demand came under pressure in Q1/2020. During this period sales of the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, dropped by 16.7% to € 466.3 mill.
The main reason was the development of prices for standard viscose (due to significant overcapacity in the market) and other standard fibers. The impact of the corona crisis further increased pressure on prices and volumes. The prices for standard viscose dropped to a new all-time low by March 31, 2020.
The comparatively positive development of the specialty fiber business and slightly higher demand for fibers in the medical and hygiene segments partially offset the decline in revenue. The share of specialty fibers increased from 47.3 % in the 1st quarter of 2019 to 60.9 %.
In the 1st quarter of 2020, Lenzing completed the 2nd pilot production plant for its Tencel Luxe branded filament yarn. The new facility at the Lenzing site with a total investment of € 30 million provides sufficient capacity for the development of commercial programs and further fiber applications.
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the business of the Lenzing Group can still not be reliably estimated and strongly depends on the duration of the crisis and its impact on the global economy and textile markets. Consequently, the guidance for 2020 remains suspended.