Freedonia Group Nonwovens Report Forecasts Demand Hikes thru 2007

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—According to a recently published study by the Freedonia Group, demand for nonwoven roll goods in the United States is expected to increase 3.9 percent per year, to nearly $5 billion in 2007.

Nonwovens, authored by the Cleveland-based industrial market research firm, indicates advances will be driven by strong growth in many key disposable markets, such as adult incontinence products, filters, and protective apparel, as well as key nondisposable markets such as geotextiles and battery separators. According to Freedonia:

  • Disposable markets accounted for the majority of nonwoven demand in 2002, with a 64-percent share. Disposable consumer products—which primarily include baby diapers, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products, and wipes—was the largest market for nonwovens in 2002. However, the filtration market, driven by regulatory changes and consumer concerns about air and water quality, will post the strongest gains among disposable markets through 2007.
  • Growth in the nondisposables segment is forecast to accelerate through 2007, powered by projected improvements in shipments of batteries, furniture, and other durable goods as the economy continues to recover from the recession of 2001. Fastest growth is expected in the electrical and electronics markets, which will benefit from the increasing use of high value-added nonwovens.
  • Spunbonded nonwovens accounted for the largest share of nonwoven shipments in 2002. This segment, which is projected to post the strongest value gains through 2007, benefits from the development of new applications, as well as strong demand for composites featuring spunbonded webs. In volume terms, air laid nonwovens are expected to achieve the strongest growth through 2007.
  • Polypropylene is the most widely used fiber in nonwoven production, accounting for 56 percent of staple, monofilament, and multifilament fiber consumption in 2002. Consumption of cotton and wood pulp fibers will grow faster, albeit from much smaller bases, because of consumer interest in natural fibers, soft materials, and flushable and biodegradable products.
Freedonia Group says the 342-page Nonwovens report is available for $3,900. For more information, contact the Freedonia Group at 440/684-9600; pr@freedoniagroup.com. Visit the Freedonia Group at freedoniagroup.com.

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