Among disposables markets, consumer items will continue to account for the largest portion of sales, though growth will be restricted by below-average gains in baby diapers and feminine hygiene products.Somewhat offsetting this sluggishness will be above-average gains in adult incontinence products.The filtration market will see above-average gains, as nonwovens take market share from other materials such as paper and woven fabrics.
Nondisposables comprised nearly one-third of nonwovens sales in 2008.Construction, the largest nondisposables market, will post above-average gains, fueled by robust growth in residential construction. In particular, nonwovens used in house wrap will experience double-digit annual growth, a result of a projected acceleration in housing starts through 2013.
Spunmelt will remain the largest product segment, accounting for 57% by value.Gains will be driven by good growth opportunities in the large spunbonded materials segment, as spunbonded nonwovens are the material of choice in major markets such as baby diapers.Meltblown nonwovens will benefit from greater use in the filtration market.Advances for carded nonwovens will be dampened by declining demand for chemical and thermal bonded varieties, as these materials have largely been replaced by spunbonded types in major markets like diaper cover stock.However, demand for nonwoven fabrics bonded by the spunlacing process, almost all of which are carded webs, will increase at an above-average rate through 2013, providing some offsetting support.
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