World demand for nonwovens to reach 9.3 million tons in 2015

The personal hygiene market will continue to account for the single largest share of nonwovens demand in 2015. 

The report from the Freedonia Group says that this growth in sales is due in part to growth rates in developing regions, which will remain higher than those projected for developed areas, primarily due to continued industrialisation efforts and increasing personal income. Market gains in developing parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, the Africa/Mideast region, and Central and South America will outpace gains in the US, Western Europe and Japan. The product sales in developing areas will be fueled by above-average economic growth, ongoing industrialisation efforts and rising living standards, with China alone accounting for almost half of additional global volume demand through 2015. Lower-volume markets, such as India and Brazil, are also expected to achieve growth above the global average.

The sales of roll goods in developed parts of the world will expand as well, with nonwovens demand in Western Europe stimulated by an improved economic climate and higher per capita incomes. However, population levels will be flat or edge down in some European countries, preventing sales of nonwovens used in consumer products from climbing at a faster rate.

Spunmelt nonwoven fabrics, which passed carded fabrics to account for the largest share of total demand in 2010 with 44%, will post above-average gains through 2015, with growth driven by the greater use of disposable medical items and composite spunbonded/meltblown nonwoven fabrics, and greater penetration of markets served by competitive products.