From hygiene to medical down to construction, home interiors and clothing – the possible uses of nonwovens are wide and varied. And the results of the annual industry survey by Edana, the world’s leading association for nonwovens and related industries, prove that the market is prospering: in 2017, the production of nonwovens in Greater Europe increased by 4.3% to 2,544,450 tonnes with a total estimated turnover of around 7,869 million euros (+5.6%). The total production of the European Union was almost two million tonnes. Although the primary main end-use for nonwovens continues to be the hygiene market with a market share of 29.8%, other sectors like medical (+13.2%), automobile (+13%) and electronics (+21%) also reported significant growth in 2017.
There are also clear variances within the EU region: “Although some established players like France and the Benelux countries were at a standstill, many pushed on from last year with Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the UK and Ireland all witnessing growth. In Greater Europe as a whole, the standout performers were Turkey, posting a double-digit growth rate, and Russia, where growth exceeded 9%,” explains Jacques Prigneaux, Edana’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director.
Divergent trends were also observed between the various production processes. Particularly noteworthy is the growth rate of wet-laid nonwoven production (+10.2%), which according to Edana is mainly due to newly installed lines going fully operational in 2017. Polymer-based nonwovens remain the leader with 41.0% of the market share in tonnage and 65.0% in surface area.
The industry’s experts get together every two years at Techtextil, the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens. The next edition will be taking place from 14-17 May 2019 in Frankfurt.
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