World Nonwovens

As Quoted In Technical Textiles

Developing area demand will outpace developed area markets, driven by the production of nondisposable goods as well as by the consumption of consumer wipes and personal hygiene products.

World demand to rise 5.4% annually through 2017

Global demand for nonwovens is forecast to rise 5.4 percent annually to 9.1 million metric tons in 2017. Nonwovens demand in the developed areas of the world, such as the US, Japan, and Western Europe, is projected to grow at a rate of 2.4 percent per year, an improvement from the declines of the 2007-2012 period but still well below the global average. These countries have well developed manufacturing sectors, populations with high personal incomes, and well established, mature nonwovens markets. Nonwovens demand in developing areas of the world is expected to increase 7.2 percent per year through 2017. The manufacturing sectors of developing economies tend to grow rapidly, benefiting nonwovens used in the production of nondisposable goods such as mattresses, motor vehicles, and geotextiles. Additionally, advances will benefit from growth in middle class cohorts who are better able to afford nonwoven consumer goods, such as wipes and personal hygiene products.

China to claim nearly half of all gains in total demand

Asia/Pacific was the largest regional market for nonwovens in 2012, with 41 percent of the global total. Growth will be driven in large part by China, which will account for 46 percent of global gains through 2017 and 31 percent of total world sales that year. Manufacturing capacity for products that consume significant amounts of nonwovens continues to expand throughout the country. For example, several major diaper producers are in the process of building disposable diaper production plants in China in order to supply both domestic and export markets. Like China, India is expected to see strong gains as it continues to rapidly develop its manufacturing and construction sectors. In addition, rising incomes and standards of living will provide incentives for individuals to purchase convenience items, promoting the production of disposable infant diapers, feminine hygiene products, and baby wipes, among other items made with significant amounts of nonwovens.

Demand in West to rebound from recent declines

In 2012, North America and Western Europe each accounted for roughly 20 percent of the global nonwovens market. Demand growth in these regions is expected to rebound from the declines of the 2007-2012 period, which was marked by outright drops in manufacturing and construction activity. As such, gains will benefit from economic improvement and a rebound in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Nevertheless, growth in nonwovens demand in these regions will remain well below the global average.

Study Coverage

This study analyzes the seven million metric ton 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 for 19 countries.

The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 40 industry players, including Freudenberg, Kimberly-Clark and DuPont.

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