Global demand for nonwovens to climb 5.3% annually to 9 million tonnes in 2017, finds research report; Asia/Pacific region, which represented 39% of global market in 2012, forecasted to remain largest regional market driven by Chinese demand

, May 21, 2014 (press release) – This study analyzes the world nonwovens industry. It presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007, and 2012, and forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by web formation process (spunmelt, carded, airlaid, wetlaid), application (disposables, nondisposables), market (e.g., personal hygiene, wipes, construction, filtration, medical/surgical), world region, and major country. The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles industry players.

World demand to rise 5.3% annually through 2017

Global demand for nonwovens is forecast to rise 5.3 percent annually to 9.0 million metric tons in 2017. However, there is a great deal of variation among different regions and countries. Countries with well developed manufacturing sectors and a population with relatively high personal incomes - such as the US, Japan, and West European countries -have well established nonwovens markets. In these areas, nonwovens are prevalent in the production of a variety of goods, and individuals have the financial capability to purchase nonwoven-based consumer items. Demand for nonwovens in developed countries is expected to accelerate from the pace set from 2007 to 2012, when recessionary conditions for most of the period brought outright declines in manufacturing and construction activity. Despite the acceleration, growth in nonwovens demand in developed areas will remain well below the global average as continued industrialization and increasing personal incomes in developing countries promote nonwovens demand.

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Developing countries to spur market gains

Ongoing economic advances in China and other developing countries will promote the development of manufacturing sectors, providing opportunities for nonwovens in a variety of goods, such as filters. With respect to consumer goods,rising incomes and standards of living will propel individuals to purchase convenience items, promoting the production of disposable infant diapers among other items that are made with significant amounts of nonwoven fabrics.

Asia/Pacific region to remain key market

The largest regional market for nonwovensin 2012 was the Asia/Pacific region, with 39 percent of the global total. Two of the top three nonwovens consuming countries - China and Japan- are located in the region. Advances will be driven by China, which will account for 60 percent of the regional sales in2017 and nearly 40 percent of additional global volume demand through 2017.

In 2012, North America and Western Europe each accounted for roughly 20percent of the market. Gains will benefit from economic improvements, and a rebound in the manufacturing and construction sectors through 2017.

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The Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa/Mideast regions each accounted for less than 10 percent of the global nonwovens market in 2012.Arising from a small base, nonwovens demand is projected to post above average growth. The nonwovens industry in key export-related countries - Brazil,Russia, and Egypt - continues to rapidly develop with investment from both domestic and foreign multinational companies.

Spunmelt nonwovens to be fastest growing by process

Spunmelt nonwovens accounted for 46percent of global sales in 2012, and are projected to post the most rapid gains through 2017. Growth will benefit from increased production in key markets such as personal hygiene products, particularly disposable infant diapers in developing countries, and adult incontinence products in developed areas.

Company Profiles

Profiles global players such as Ahlstrom, DuPont, Freudenberg, Johns Manville, Kimberly-Clark and Polymer Group

Additional Information

This study analyzes global supply of and demand for nonwoven fabrics, defined here to include materials made from fibers, filaments, and films that are arranged into webs, batts, or sheets, then bonded together using mechanical, thermal, or chemical means. Nonwovens are categorized by the web formation process used to produce the material: airlaid (paper- and textile-based), carded, spunmelt (including meltblown and spunbonded), and wetlaid. The major markets for nonwoven fabrics are personal hygiene (infant diapers and toddler training pants, sanitary products, and adult incontinence), wipes, construction (geotextiles, roofing, etc.), filtration, medical/surgical (excluding medical wipes), and other (including batteries, carpets and rugs, clothing, and motor vehicles). Study totals include captive production of nonwovens in downstream product manufacture, as well as goods sold on the merchant market.

Historical data for 2002, 2007, and 2012 and forecasts for 2017 and 2022 are provided for nonwoven fabric production (total), demand (by web formation process, by application, and by market), and net exports (total) on a country-bycountry basis in thousands of metric tons. At the regional level, total demand is also shown in billions of square meters and in millions of current US dollars, including inflation. The term "demand" actually refers to "apparent consumption" and is defined as production (also referred to as "output," "shipments," or "supply") from a nation's indigenous nonwoven fabric manufacturing facilities plus imports minus exports. It is used interchangeably with the terms "market," "sales," and "consumption."

Data on world nonwovens supply and demand are derived from differing sources and developed from statistical relationships. As a result, variations are commonplace in this type of international reporting, and consequently, statistics presented in this study are historically consistent but may differ from other sources. Variances may occur because of definitional differences, undistributed exports, inventory accumulation and goods-in-transit. To reduce the impact of such discrepancies, total world nonwoven fabric imports and exports have been assumed to balance in any given year.

In addition, major global nonwovens manufacturers are identified and profiled, and the key competitive variables are discussed. The entire report is framed within the world nonwoven fabric industry's economic, technological and market environments, and therefore environmental variables affecting nonwovens supply/demand patterns are emphasized. World nonwoven fabric market share data by company presented in the "Industry Structure" section are estimated based on consultation with multiple sources. In addition, tabular details may not always add to totals due to rounding.

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