established manufacturing of end-use products and reliance on imported nonwoven materials, encouraging new investment in local nonwovens production to supply the domestic market
Key Findings in the Global Nonwovens Study:
China and India Present Significant Growth Opportunities
Nonwovens demand is growing rapidly in most developing countries, where market penetration remains relatively low. However, the prospects for nonwovens are especially good in China and India. These countries’ immense populations and rapidly growing economies present ample opportunity for increased nonwovens use as local consumer bases further develop.
In China – and increasingly India – sizable manufacturing sectors are already in place to produce end-use goods such as personal hygiene products and wipes. And China already exports significant volumes of such products to other, nearby markets – in addition to supplying the bulk of domestic demand.
Medical/Surgical Supplies, Wipes, and Filters are Fast-Growing Markets
The fastest growing markets for nonwoven materials include medical and surgical supplies (e.g., bandages, dressings, patient gowns, surgical drapes), wipes (e.g., baby wipes, personal care wipes, household cleaning wipes), and filter media. In fact, half of the gains in global nonwovens sales between 2017 and 2022 are expected to follow from their use in these three outlets.
All three markets will benefit from continued economic growth as consumer and industrial bases further develop across the globe. However, market penetration for nonwoven-based wipes and medical/surgical supplies will rise particularly fast in the developing world. Health expenditures and access to healthcare in these areas continue to increase, and improvements to per capita income encourage more use of convenience disposables.
The filtration market will benefit nonwovens demand primarily as increasing concern over the environmental impact of industrial activity encourages further incorporation of high-performance nonwovens into filter media. Nonwovens offer a wide range of fibers and configurations to effectively trap emissions, effluent, and other pollutants – or to recover materials that can be recycled.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $39 billion global nonwovens market. It presents historical demand data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 by region (North America, Central & South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast), application (disposables, nondisposables), market (personal hygiene, wipes, construction, filtration, medical/surgical, motor vehicles), and web formation process (spunmelt, carded, wetlaid, airlaid). The study also evaluates company product offerings, production capacity expansions, and strategies of industry competitors including Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Avgol Industries, Berkshire Hathaway (via Johns Manville), Berry Global, Évora (via Fitesa), First Quality Nonwovens, Glatfelter, Hollingsworth & Vose, Koch Industries (via Georgia-Pacific), Lydall, Sandler Group, Schouw & Co (via Fibertex Nonwovens and Fibertex Personal Care), Suominen, Toray Industries, TWE Group, and Zhejiang Kingsafe.