Technical Papers Plastics
PP nonwoven fabrics account for over 60% of total market set to cross US$42 bln by 2020

PP nonwoven fabrics account for over 60% of total market set to cross US$42 bln by 2020

Nonwovens are typically characterized by their web forming process: drylaid, airlaid, wetlaid, and spunlaid. Spunlaid is by far the most dominant process for producing medical nonwovens, accounting for over 70% of all medical nonwoven tonnage in 2013. The massive reliance of medical nonwovens on spunlaid nonwovens, and especially spunlaid polypropylene nonwovens, makes PP the key material. It accounted for over 68% of all raw materials used in medical nonwovens in 2013. Nonwovens used in medical applications are growing primarily because of strong key drivers which address performance, cost and market composition. Medical products based on nonwovens routinely outperform textile- and fluff pulp-based products in comfort, barrier properties, absorbency and resistance to contamination. They also routinely demonstrate reduced cost to use in highly cost-sensitive hospital and institutional environments, either through outright lower prices, reduced laundering and distribution costs, reduced treatment time for the patient, or labor savings for the healthcare provider.

Driven by growing production of baby diapers on account of increasing birth rate particularly in Asia Pacific, the global nonwoven fabrics market is expected to reach US$42.1 bln by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Increasing construction spending in emerging economies of China, India and Brazil is also expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Volatile prices of key raw materials are expected to remain a key challenge for market participants over the next six years. Polypropylene nonwoven fabrics were the highest consumed product segment accounted for over 60% of total market demand in 2013. PP nonwoven fabrics are also expected to witness highest growth rate over the next six years. Increasing birth rates in emerging markets of India and China and increasing geriatric population in countries such as USA, UK, Germany and Japan have driven the demand for baby diapers and adult incontinence products respectively. Increasing demand for baby diapers and adult incontinence products is expected to drive polypropylene nonwoven fabrics demand. Further key findings from the study suggest:

  • Global nonwoven fabrics demand was 8,687.2 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to reach 13,652.4 kilo tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2014 to 2020.
  • Spunlaid emerged as the leading technology used in the global nonwoven fabrics market and accounted for 48.5% of total market volume in 2013. Spunlaid is also expected to witness highest growth rate over the next several years. Increasing demand for spunlaid nonwoven fabrics in hygiene and medical applications is expected to drive its market over the next six years. Global demand for air laid based nonwoven fabrics is expected to exceed 1 mln tons by 2020.
  • Durable applications such as construction, automotive and geotextile were the leading application segment in the global nonwoven fabrics market which together accounted for 59.7% of total market volume in 2013. Growth of construction and automotive industry particularly in BRIC nations is expected to spur growth for nonwoven fabrics in durable applications.
  • Asia Pacific was the leading regional market and accounted for 42.4% of total market demand in 2013. Growth of major end-use industries particularly in emerging markets of China and India is expected to drive nonwoven fabrics market in the region over the forecast period. Middle East and Africa is expected to be the fastest growing regional market for nonwoven fabrics at an estimated CAGR of 8.2% from 2014 to 2020. Growth of geotextiles and construction industries in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa is expected to drive the regional market.
  • The global nonwoven fabrics market is highly fragmented in nature with the market witnessing frequent mergers & acquisitions by large companies in order to gain market share. Top four companies accounted for below 20% of total market in 2013. Some of the major companies operating in the market include Freudenberg, Ahlstrom, DuPont, PEGAS, Providencia, AVGOL, Kimberly-Clark, PGI, Fiberweb, Mitsui and Toray.

A report based on the global market for nonwoven materials and products by Transparency Market Research states that the market will grow at a modest CAGR of 6.7% between 2013 and 2019. It is forecast that the market, which earned revenues worth US$28,783.8 mln in 2012, will cross revenues of US$45,363.7 mln in 2019. The report states that an increased global demand for nonwoven materials and products from the medical and healthcare industry is largely responsible for the steady growth of the market in the near future. However, according to a TMR analyst, “Issues regarding the volatility of these products and saturation of the market in developed countries could act as a restraining factor for the market. The report segments the global non woven materials and products market on the basis of key products, chief application areas, and key regional markets. The segment of products is further divided into polypropylene, nylon, polyester, bio-component fibers, nano-fibers and cellulosics. Of these, polypropylene nonwoven fabric held the largest share of market revenue and had a net worth of US$16,438.7 mln in 2012. A huge application base of polypropylene nonwoven fabrics in the global market will continue to heighten its demand, leading to the segment's growth at a CAGR of 6.7% between 2013 and 2019 to reach a market worth of US$25,808.2 mln by 2019. The segment of application areas is further fragmented into disposable (medical products, filters, and disposable wipes) and durables (geotextiles, home furnishings, and wall coverings). Of the key application areas for nonwoven materials and products, durables accumulated the largest share of revenue acquired by the market in 2012. According to the report, this segment generated revenue worth US$17,716.0 mln in 2012 and is expected to reach US$28,335.6 mln in 2019, registering a CAGR of 7% between 2013 and 2019. Disposables have observed a sharp rise in demand for medical disposables over the past few years. The medical disposables segment will continue to result in increased demand for nonwoven materials and products in the forecast period as well. For a region-based analysis, the global market is segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World. Of these, the regional market for Asia Pacific acquired the largest share of demand for nonwoven materials and products in 2012, owing to rising demand from the medical, agriculture, and construction industries in the region.

Nonwoven materials will continue to see healthy growth in global markets for the next several years, with medical and filtration applications continuing to be mainstay drivers of expanding use. The market for nonwovens for filtration end-markets is forecast to grow from US$3.5 bln in 2014 to US$4.6 bln in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.6%, according to a new study by Smithers Apex. At the same time, the worldwide market for medical nonwovens is forecast to reach US$2 billion in four years. The slow and uneven recovery of global economies after the recession has had a significant impact upon the growth of nonwovens for filtration. With some of the key markets in automotive and construction still growing slowly in some regions, filtration nonwovens have had to aggressively replace older filter media materials, like paper and textiles, as well as enhance performance in order to maintain growth. The study shows that the market for filtration nonwovens is growing because of both the overall growth in the filtration market and the replacement of textile and paper filter media. Despite problems in the global economic recovery, the filtration market as a whole has still seen positive growth due to some of the key end-uses for filter media being driven by the increasing demand for cleaner water and air, for protection against pandemic diseases, and for energy conservation.
One of the key ways the market for filtration can be broken down is based on the physical state of the material to be filtered -- either air/gas or liquid. It is necessary to make this distinction because the construction of the complete filter is very different based on the environment of the filter; a liquid-immersed filter and filter media has requirements that are very different from one in dry air. Although air/gas filter media make up the larger share of global nonwoven consumption for filter media, liquid filter media, driven by the large and increasingly performance-driven automotive/transportation end-use, is consistently growing faster than air/gas filter media. The global consumption of all medical nonwovens was US$1.5 bln in 2013 and is forecast to grow to US$2 bln by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%, according to another study by Smithers Apex. Traditionally, medical nonwovens have consisted of surgical gowns, drapes, and packs; sterile packaging and wraps; wound care; other disposable apparel such as patient gowns, nurses' and doctors' gowns; face masks; shoe and hair covers; and other medical materials such as isolation drapes. In the study, nonwovens used in incontinence products for institutionalized users (mainly medical underpads) and nonwovens used in healthcare industrial wipes (used primarily by hospitals and healthcare institutions) are also included. Surgical drapes and gowns make up the largest medical nonwovens end-use globally, as well as in most regions, with global consumption valued at US$889.2 mln in 2013 and a forecasted value of over US$1 bln in 2018. The segment is growing at an annual rate of 3.9% from 2013 to 2018. Incontinence products are globally the second-largest end-use segment as well as the fastest growing medical nonwovens market, with an annual growth rate of 8.2% from 2013 to 2018.

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DCM 54 inch lamination lines

DCM 54 inch lamination lines