Global demand for spunbond nonwovens is experiencing major shifts in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As with meltblown nonwovens (which have seen supply shortages as a result of the recent surge for masks), the market for spunbond webs is being greatly impacted by a surge in face mask demand and changes in the supply of and demand for other key end-use products.
In value terms, global demand for spunbond nonwovens in 2020 is expected to remain similar to 2019 levels despite some declines in volume demand. Sales of spunbond nonwovens used in manufacturing of motor vehicles or in construction applications have dropped due to economic uncertainty and stay-at-home orders.
However, demand for spunbond nonwovens used for medical and hygiene products surged in the first half of 2020. Spikes in demand resulted from increased need for medical masks and other crucial medical supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the pandemic.
Spunbond is also benefiting from elevated wipes demand, as the pandemic has driven demand for surface disinfecting wipes and other healthcare wipes. Additionally, demand for personal hygiene products and consumer wipes spiked as governments began issuing shelter-in-place orders and consumers stockpiled.