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Bullish nonwovens market in China emerges as key takeaway from June’s China International Nonwovens Expo & Forum

27 Jul 2017

Hygiene, medical and filtration sectors among the star performers in the country. Buyer range and quality ensures successful three days of business for exhibitors.

Following last month’s successful second edition of the biennial China International Nonwovens Expo & Forum (CINE – supported by Techtextil), one thing is clear: multiple nonwovens product sectors in China continue to exhibit strong growth and immense potential for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the event itself continues to be praised by the nonwovens industry as one of the most influential in the country, reflected in the fact that many of the country’s biggest players participated in the expo and forum. In total, 100 exhibitors* showcased their products in the expo, while 3,977 trade buyers* from 16 countries and regions attended the three-day event.

Speaking as CINE concluded, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd’s Senior General Manager, Ms Wendy Wen, commented: “We can’t emphasise enough to the global industry the immense opportunities in the Chinese nonwovens sector, especially for overseas companies with their relative advantages in product quality and innovation. The feedback from multiple participants here this week continues to show that strong potential still exists in the market, and that this potential comes from multiple aspects – government initiatives, increases in urbanisation, changing consumer lifestyles and more – ensuring the sustainability of this growth for what we believe will be many years to come.”

Hygiene, medical and filtration sectors among the star performers in the country

While there are multiple sectors within China’s nonwovens market experiencing strong growth, three in particular stand out as real achievers: hygiene, medical and filtration. Beijing ORIT, an exhibitor in CINE’s expo, explained one of the reasons why. “The hygiene, medical and filtration industries have been strongly supported by central government policies in recent years,” Sales Manager Ms Lixia Hu said. “Our company is very confident that these sectors will continue to develop strongly in the future.” Mr Guanjun Song, Vice-General Manager of Shandong Taipeng Nonwoven concurred. “Due to government policies as well as increasing living standards, the demand for our filtration nonwovens is increasing. Many of our customers are asking for new materials, thus we have added new product lines and are increasing our R&D efforts.”

Filter bag specialists Jiangsu FMS R&D Materials explained how new emission standards were attracting heavy-industry buyers to CINE. “Our filter bags are targeted towards dust processing which is a promising industry sector. Nowadays, national pollution standards are much higher in order to protect the environment. Thus, many big iron plants, coal power plants and cement mills are here to cooperate with us to achieve these emission standards,” Mr Shuping Liu, Chairman of the company explained. It is not just the industrial filtration sector that is booming in China though, with personal filtration products also in high demand. TEDA Filters, who specialise in nonwovens for wearable masks, is one such company benefiting from this. “Nonwovens for personal masks is a rising industry in China,” Mr Honggang Wu, an engineer for the company explained. “As the problem with haze in Chinese cities arouses more awareness, more and more citizens are starting to realise the necessity to wear a mask. There is still much more potential,” he concluded.

Both government policies and rising living standards are having positive impacts on the industry in other sectors as well. “With the two-child policy starting to take effect in China, the sales of nonwovens for maternity and infant products are increasing quickly,” Mr Benson Yan, a representative from Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven, one of the country’s largest producers, outlined. “Our customers’ quality requirements for functional nonwovens are getting higher as well,” he continued. “During the expo, more buyers than usual came to our booth with the same high demands.” One such buyer was Mr Lawrence Cai, Product Manager Asia Pacific-Hygiene, from the Shanghai office of French company APLIX Fasteners. “The demand for hygiene and medical nonwovens in China is expanding at present, which has also increased the amount we are sourcing here,” he said.

Exhibitor Zhejiang Kingsafe Nonwoven Fabric’s Mr Changhong Mei, the company’s Vice General Manager, emphasised the room for growth that exists in the country. “While the use of female sanitary napkins in China has reached around 95%, the up-take of baby and adult diapers is still quite low, especially in rural areas, so I can see great potential in this field. Our nonwovens consumption per capita is also far below that of Europe and the US, which all points to much room for growth.”

Buyer range and quality ensures successful three days of business for exhibitors
While these exhibitors were bullish about the industry’s prospects, many others highlighted the effectiveness of the expo as a business platform.

The quality of the buyers in attendance was one of the biggest talking points. “We welcomed a wide range of clients from the agriculture, hygiene and medical sectors to our booth; they were all genuine industry players with clear sourcing targets,” Mr Menghua Zhu, Head of R&D, U.S. Pacific Nonwovens Industry said. “Although not a large show, there is a high degree of correlation with other exhibitors which presents business opportunities, while there are also many high-quality buyers here,” explained Suzhou City Jiangnan Chemical Fiber Group’s Vice General Manager, Mr Ruiqi Zhu. Israel’s Elbit Vision Systems shared a similar sentiment. “Most of the exhibitors here are our existing clients, so it’s a good opportunity for us. CINE is a very professional event, so we’ll definitely come back to the next edition,” General Manager Mr Fei Li said.

In addition to the quality of buyers, Qingdao Textile Machinery also appreciated the strong buyer flow. “Many buyers came to our booth searching for spunlace and needle-punch nonwovens machines,” Mr Song Lei, Project Manager said. “Two of our frequent buyers we’ve negotiated with for a long time placed orders here. We feel satisfied with the show as all the buyers and exhibitors had a strong connection with our business.”

Influential nonwovens conference held concurrently adds to stature of CINE

The 6th China International Nonwovens Conference, a highly regarded event in the industry, was held alongside CINE as part of the forum section, adding to the stature as well as the business opportunities of the expo portion of CINE. “The speakers at the conference are of high quality, and shared up-to-the-minute industry insights. I also visited the expo as well, and the two events together mean I can discover the latest trends and market developments in a quick and easy manner,” Mr Shengchun Tian, Chief Engineer of Xinjiang Shengtai Textile explained.

Mr Changhong Mei from exhibitor Zhejiang Kingsafe Nonwoven Fabric also attended the conference. “The content reflected the latest market trends, and I was able to meet with many authoritative figures from the industry,” he said. “CINE is the optimal platform to meet industry players, and it enjoys a strong reputation in China. Besides receiving orders and promoting our business, CINE provides us with a highly effective way to communicate with the industry as well.” The event’s reputation in China was also emphasised by Mr Xunding Gu, a buyer from CITIC Securities. “I was recommended to attend CINE as it’s a well-known known event in the industry. I can see many of the latest products and technologies from leading brands here.”

China International Nonwovens Expo & Forum (CINE – supported by Techtextil) was organised by the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA); the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA); and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. The next CINE will take place in 2019, while Cinte Techtextil China will be held in Shanghai in October 2018.

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Note to editors: a selection of photos from the fair can be found here:

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*for comparison: 85 exhibitors and 4,885 buyers participated in 2015